Malaysia A-Z: Everything You Need To Know

By | Mar 31, 2018 | Views: 1,544
Photo credit: travelweekly-asia.com

Photo credit: travelweekly-asia.com

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Sharon Ong)

Right in the heart of Southeast Asia is Malaysia, a tropical paradise whose charms are not only limited to the many postcard perfect beaches, scenic kampungs*, historical sites, and diverse flora and fauna but also extend to the many multiethnic groups living in the country.

There is always something to see, experience or explore all year round in Malaysia. This is a haven for tourists, not just for its sunny weather but also for its many visitor attractions, both in and out of the city. With multiple races living harmoniously in Malaysia, this cultural melting pot also offers exciting gastronomic adventures catering to different dietary preferences, needs and budgets.

Malaysia is home to a unique blend of architectural styles that range from quaint pre-war Peranakan-style houses in the UNESCO World Heritage zones of Melaka and George Town, to the modern Islamic and Moorish architecture of Putrajaya. It is also not uncommon to see different places of worship along a single street due to the religious tolerance practised by Malaysians.

Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge.

So, what makes Malaysia special? Sure, the weather is beautiful, the food is amazing and the places of interest are fascinating. But what makes Malaysia truly special is her people and the Malaysian spirit of muhibbah**.

*’Kampung’ is the Malay word for ‘village’.
**The spirit of muhibbah is essentially the spirit of togetherness and friendship that exists between the many different races, cultures and faiths.

 

History

 

Ancient Malaya

Malaya began to take shape in the form of a group of states between the 2nd and 3rd centuries, with the northern state of Kedah being the most powerful. Considered an advanced civilisation at the time, Malaya’s trade partner India heavily influenced the Malayan landscape, most significantly in the aspects of Malayan law, the assimilation of many Tamil words into the Malay lingua franca as well as the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in the region.

This is the iconic photo of Tuanku Abdul Rahman declaring Malaya’s independence at Merdeka Stadium

The iconic photo of Tuanku Abdul Rahman declaring Malaya’s independence at Merdeka Stadium on 31 August 1957

Srivijaya, a flourishing kingdom in Sumatra dominated much of Malaya between the 7th and 8th centuries. Srivijaya’s prosperity depended very much on the Indian and Chinese traders who came to Malaya to trade tea, spices and silk, as Malaya was geographically strategic due to its location between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. By gaining control of this main passage between the two trading giants, the Srivijaya empire became wealthy and very powerful.

However, in the 11th century, the once powerful Srivijaya started to weaken due to a series of attacks by the Chola Empire based in South India. In the 13th century, the weakened and fragmented Srivijaya empire caught the attention of the Javanese king, Kertanegara, who then successfully captured Srivijaya, thus ending the glory days of the Srivijaya empire in Malaya.

 

Malacca Sultanate

Between the 14th and 15th centuries, the Malay Archipelago saw power struggles between various empires such as the Singhasari, Java, Palembang and Majapahit. This resulted in Malay princes fleeing their war-torn homeland in Indonesia.

In 1400, a Hindu prince from Sumatra named Parameswara landed on the Malay Peninsula. While resting under a tree, the prince witnessed how a mere mousedeer defended itself and kicked his hunting dog into the river. Taking it as an auspicious omen, Parameswara decided to start his new kingdom there and named the place, Malacca or Melaka, after the tree he was resting under.

Due to Malacca’s strategic location, it soon became a major trading port in the region. During this time, traders from the Middle East also frequented the port of Malacca, bringing not only spices but also their faith, Islam. With the influx of Muslim traders, Buddhism and Hinduism which once dominated the region gave way to Islam. With Parameswara’s conversion to Islam, assuming the name Iskandar Shah, the Malay Sultanate was established.

Replica of the Malacca Sultan Palace. Just like the original palace, this was built without the usage of any nails.

A replica of Malacca’s Sultan Palace. Just like the original building, this was built without the use of any nails.

Under Malay Sultanate rule, Malacca became an international hub for trade, commerce and also the spread of Islam. Malacca reached the height of its prosperity in the mid-15th century with strong trade and diplomatic ties with China. During the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah, his envoy to China impressed the Chinese Emperor Yong Le so much that the Emperor decreed that his princess, Hang Li Poh, should marry Sultan Mansur Shah. The princess together with her entourage of 500 ladies-in-waiting arrived in Malacca for the royal wedding. This eventually resulted in intermarriages between these ladies and the local men, giving birth to the sub-ethnic group, Peranakan Cina, also known as Baba and Nyonya.

 

The Fall of Malacca

Soon, this wealthy and powerful Malay empire caught the interest of European powers. In 1511, Portugal sent an expedition led by Alfonso d’Albuquerque to capture Malacca. The expedition was a success and Malacca fell to the Portuguese. The power struggle for this rich trading port continued and the Dutch captured Malacca in 1641. In 1824, the British conquered Malacca, Penang and Singapore, collectively known as the Straits Settlements.

 

British Colonization and Japanese Occupation

During British colonial rule, Malaya flourished with the introduction of proper government administration and systems, English medium schools, roads and railway. However during World War II, Japanese troops invaded Malaya and the Japanese Occupation gave rise to tremendous hardship. Many atrocities occurred between 1941 and 1945 which are remembered to this day, but the experience also gave rise to the spirit of nationalism. With the support of local nationalists, the British and Allied Forces recaptured Malaya.

 

Independence Day and Birth of Malaysia

Although the people of Malaya preferred British rule over the Japanese Occupation, their desire for independence grew. After a series of peaceful negotiations spearheaded by the late Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Malaya gained independence from British colonial rule on 31 August 1957. Tuanku Abdul Rahman later became Malaya’s first Prime Minister.

On 16 September 1963, the Federation of Malaya (comprised of 11 states and 2 British Straits Settlements – Penang and Malacca), Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo (now known as Sabah) banded to form Malaysia. This is why Malaysia Day is celebrated annually on 16 September, as it is the actual “birthday” of Malaysia.

Approximately two years later, Singapore sought independence from Malaysia and became an independent island republic on 9 August 1965.

 

Monarchy

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy and the head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. This office was established upon Malaya gaining independence from the British colony on 31 August 1957, and the first Malaysian monarch was Yamtuan Besar Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected by the Conference of Rulers, which comprises of all nine heads of state, and the election is usually based on the seniority of the Sultan or Head of State. The elected Yang di-Pertuan Agong occupies the position as Malaysia’s Head of State for a five-year term.

The Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong or Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected by the same process but he does not automatically assume the position of Yang di-Pertuan Agong should a vacancy arise due to death, illness or the reigning monarch’s inability to perform his duties. In the event of a vacancy, the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong acts as Head of State until a new ruler is elected.

There are nine states ruled by monarchs — four are governed by Yang Dipertua Negeri or Governor, while the three Federal Territories are under the control of the Federal Government.

 

The 13 Malaysian States and Their Respective Head of State

  • Perlis: Raja
  • Kedah: Sultan
  • Penang: Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
  • Perak: Sultan
  • Selangor: Sultan
  • Negeri Sembilan: Yam Tuan Besar
  • Melaka: Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
  • Johor: Sultan
  • Pahang: Sultan
  • Terengganu: Sultan
  • Kelantan: Sultan
  • Sabah: Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
  • Sarawak: Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)

Click here for more details about the monarchy system in Malaysia.

 

Currency

Malaysia’s official currency is the Ringgit, abbreviated to RM or MYR. The Ringgit is divided into 100 sen (cents). The denominations for bank notes are RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50, RM100 and RM500, while coin denominations are 1 sen, 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen. These days, the 1 sen coin is not widely used anymore.

Major retail outlets and eateries accept credit cards, charge cards and debit cards. Mastercard, Visa and American Express are most commonly used.

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Banks and ATMs are available for general banking needs such as cash withdrawals, foreign currency exchange, deposits, transfers, and so on. Foreign currency exchange services are also available at local moneychangers.

Here are some useful links to the top banks in Malaysia:

  • Maybank: maybank.com
  • CIMB: cimb.com
  • Public Bank Berhad: pbebank.com
  • RHB Bank: rhbgroup.com
  • Hong Leong Bank: hlb.com.my

 

Geography

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Covering 329,847 square kilometres with 328,657 square kilometres of land and 1,190 square kilometres of water, Malaysia is the 67th largest nation in the world. Located on the continent of Asia, Malaysia’s nearest neighbours are Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

Malaysia consists of Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, located on Borneo Island. There are 11 states and two Federal Territories in Peninsular Malaysia while East Malaysia is comprised of two states and one Federal Territory. Peninsula Malaysia is surrounded by the Straits of Melaka in the West and the South China Sea in the East. The Tebrau Straits separate Peninsula Malaysia from Singapore.

 

Perlis

Administrative capital: Kangar
Total area (km2): 821
Population (as of February 2015): 246,000

Perlis, Malaysia’s smallest state, has retained much of its old-world charm. The pace is generally slower here and it is the perfect place to experience rustic tranquil living amidst natural limestone hills and green paddy fields. Situated closest to Thailand in the north, heavy Thai influence can be seen in its cuisine and local Malay dialect. With Padang Besar and other border towns offering good bargains and with the duty-free shopping at Bukit Kayu Hitam at the Malaysia-Thai border, Perlis is a popular shopping destination for both locals and tourists.

Lush green paddy fields in Perlis

Lush green paddy fields in Perlis

 

Kedah

Administrative capital: Alor Setar
Total area (km2): 9,500
Population (as of February 2015): 2,071,900

Hailed as the “Rice Bowl of Malaysia” and producing more than 50% of Malaysia’s rice supply, Kedah is famous not only for its lush paddy fields that stretch as far as the eye can see but also for its rich history that can be experienced at the 50 archeological sites around Bujang Valley. Another great reason to visit Kedah is mythical Langkawi, an island getaway with clear blue waters, white sandy beaches, amazing dive spots and duty-free shopping.

Golden paddy fields in Kedah ready for harvest

Golden paddy fields in Kedah ready for harvest

 

Penang

Administrative capital: George Town
Total area (km2): 1,048
Population (as of February 2015): 1,663,000

One of the top tourist destinations in Malaysia, Penang has tonnes to offer from its picturesque beaches to its seemingly endless array of amazing street food. Also known as ‘The Pearl of the Orient’, Penang has an eclectic mix of cultural, natural and historical places of interest. One of the best places to explore is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, with not-to-be-missed attractions such as Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (also known as The Blue Mansion), Peranakan Museum, Kapitan Keling Mosque, Khoo Kongsi and various Clan Jetties.

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Georgetown is a must-visit

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Georgetown is a must-visit

 

Perak

Administrative capital: Ipoh
Total area (km2): 21,035
Population (as of February 2015): 2,477,700

Surrounded by gorgeous natural limestone hills, Perak is famous not only for its juicy pomelos but also for its white coffee, coffeeshop-style dining and more recently, cafés in refurbished pre-war houses in Ipoh. Thus, it is no surprise that this former tin mining state is a favourite food haven for Malaysians and foreigners alike. Off the coast of Lumut is one of Malaysia’s top island getaways — Pangkor Island — with white sandy beaches, warm turquoise waters and world-class resorts.

The many natural limestone hills all over Perak makes this state one of the most scenic in Malaysia

The many natural limestone hills all over Perak make this state one of the most scenic in Malaysia

 

Selangor

Administrative capital: Shah Alam
Total area (km2): 8,104
Population (as of February 2015): 5,874,100

As Malaysia’s most developed state, Selangor offers a wide variety of interesting tourist attractions. For the spiritually inclined, Batu Caves with the world’s tallest Lord Murugan statue is one of the best places to visit. There are also many other stunning places of worship such as Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque), the Thai Buddhist Cetawan Temple, Dong Zen Temple and Sri Shakti Temple.

Batu Caves has the largest Murugan statue in the world

Batu Caves has the largest Murugan statue in the world

Nature lovers can make a trip to the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park, Templers Park or Bagan Lalang. Sekinchan, with its lush green paddy fields and rustic fishing villages, is a must-visit for photography enthusiasts.

Those travelling with children may wish to visit Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, the Chocolate Museum, iCity or Kidzania while shopaholics and bargain hunters may prefer trawling one of the many shopping malls offering everything from designer goods to bargain basement items. Popular shopping destinations include 1Utama Shopping Mall, The Curve, Sunway Pyramid, Paradigm Mall, Tropicana City Mall and the Starling.

 

Negeri Sembilan

Administrative capital: Seremban
Total area (km2): 6,686
Population (as of February 2015): 1,098,400

Named after the nine original districts of this state, Negeri Sembilan is unique for its practice of “Adat Pepatih”, a matrilineal system of inheritance and administration introduced by the Minangkabau people. Minangkabau influences can also be seen in the distinctive traditional roofs, resembling a pair of bull’s horns, that are inspired by the women’s traditional headgear. Port Dickson, a peaceful coastal town about 80 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, is the nearest and most easily accessible beach for some sun, sea and fun.

Negeri Sembilan’s distinct Minangkabau style roof

Negeri Sembilan’s distinct Minangkabau architecture

 

Melaka

Administrative capital: Malacca City
Total area (km2): 1,664
Population (as of February 2015): 872,900

A mere 1.5-hour drive to the south of Malaysia’s capital city, the former sleepy hollow of Melaka now bustles with a great many things to eat, see, buy and photograph. From the vibrant and colourful Jonker Street to historical sites such as the Portuguese fort ‘A Famosa’, the Dutch-built Christ Church and the oldest temple in South East Asia Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Melaka has so much to offer that it would take more than a weekend to really explore this small but culturally rich state. Famous for its street food and Nyonya cuisine, Melaka is also a food haven for both local and foreign foodies.

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Melaka is the oldest temple in South East Asia.

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the oldest in South East Asia.

 

Johor

Administrative capital: Johor Bahru
Total area (km2): 19,210
Population (as of February 2015): 3,553,600

Located at the southernmost part of Peninsula Malaysia with Singapore just a causeway away, Johor is a hot weekend destination for Singaporeans as well as those who enjoy vacations at gorgeous beaches off the beaten track such as Desaru, Rawa Island, Sibu Island and Aur Island. Johor is also noted for the rich flora and fauna in its five national parks including Endau-Rompin National Park (the second largest in Malaysia after Taman Negara in Pahang), Tanjung Piai National Park and Pulau Kukup Johor National Park (one of the world’s largest uninhabited mangrove forests).

LEGOLAND Malaysia is another top tourist attraction in Johor, suitable for families with children, Lego fans and all who are young at heart.

Endau-Rompin National Park is perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers

Endau-Rompin National Park is perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers

 

Pahang

Administrative capital: Kuantan
Total area (km2): 36,137
Population (as of February 2015): 1,623,200

Pahang, the largest state in Peninsula Malaysia, is the ideal destination for nature lovers as it is the site of one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Taman Negara (National Park) is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna such as sun bears, long-tailed macaques, tapirs and the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, measuring over 1 metre in diameter. Pahang also has some of the nicest beaches and island getaways in Malaysia, and is well-known for its turtle sanctuary at Cherating Beach.

With the Titiwangsa Mountain Range passing through Pahang state, cool highlands such as Frasers Hill, Bukit Tinggi, Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands are a welcome escape from the usual hot and humid Malaysian weather.

The world’s largest flower, Rafllesia can be found in Taman Negara, Pahang

The world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, can be found in Taman Negara, Pahang

 

Terengganu

Administrative capital: Kuala Terengganu
Total area (km2): 13,035
Population (as of February 2015): 1,153,500

This quiet east coast state has one of the most spectacular mosques in the region, the Crystal Mosque or Masjid Kristal, made of steel, glass and crystal. Another popular attraction in Terengganu is Redang Island, famed for its sunny beaches, marine park and crystal clear waters that are ideal for snorkelling and diving. The island is also an essential sea turtle conservation site.

When visiting Terengganu, don’t miss out on trying the Keropok Lekor, a local snack made of flour and mashed fish, dipped in sweet chilli sauce.

Day or night, Terengganu’s Crystal Mosque is simply breathtaking

Day or night, Terengganu’s Crystal Mosque is simply breathtaking

 

Kelantan

Administrative capital: Kota Bharu
Total area (km2): 15,099
Population (as of February 2015): 1,718,200

Situated in northeastern Peninsula Malaysia, Kelantan’s largely rural lifestyle and notable Thai influences (due to its proximity to the Malaysia-Thai border) make it an interesting place to visit. There are a fair number of stunning Siamese wats (temples) scattered all over this predominantly Islamic state. For instance, Wat Photovihan in Tumpat, Kelantan has the longest reclining Buddha in Southeast Asia. The closeness with Thailand is also reflected in the local cuisine through favourites such as the colourful and flavourful nasi dagang and nasi kerabu.

Kelantan is also well-known for traditional handicrafts such as batik, songket, silverware and wau bulan (traditional Malay kites). Traditional cultural performances such as Mak Yong, wayang kulit, menora and dikir barat are also still very much alive here. Visitors should definitely take the opportunity to witness these performances for themselves as many masters of these art forms are retiring and few of the younger generation are interested in preserving this cultural heritage.

When visiting Kelantan, Nasi Kerabu is not to be missed

When visiting Kelantan, Nasi Kerabu is not to be missed

 

Sabah

Administrative capital: Kota Kinabalu
Total area (km2): 73,631
Population (as of February 2015): 3,543,500

Located on Borneo Island and popularly known as The Land Below the Wind, this East Malaysian state is well-known for its world class dive sites at Sipadan and Mabul Islands, the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary in Sandakan, abundant marine and natural parks and also Malaysia’s highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu. It is truly a haven for thrill seekers and adventure buffs.

Visitors should immerse themselves in the local culture as Sabah is home to multiple indigenous tribes such as the Kadazan-Dusun, Bajau and Murut. A popular time to visit is in May, when the Pesta Kaamatan or Harvest Festival is celebrated by the Kadazan-Dusuns. Visitors can also enjoy the abundant fresh seafood available here all year round.

Sabah’s Sipadan Island is a world class dive site and is the perfect place for muck diving

Sabah’s Sipadan Island is a world class dive site while neighbouring Mabul is the destination for muck diving enthusiasts

 

Sarawak

Administrative capital: Kuching
Total area (km2): 124,450
Population (as of February 2015): 2,636,000

Also known as the Land of the Hornbill, Malaysia’s largest state is well-known for its diverse flora and fauna in its many forest reserves, national parks, marine parks and natural caves such as Niah National Park, Bako National Park and Mulu Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sarawak is home to indigenous tribes such as the Iban, Bidayuh, Kelabit, Lun Bawang and many others. Much of their culture is still intact which allows visitors to experience it first hand. One of the best times to visit is during Sarawak’s Harvest Festival, Hari Gawai, held in June every year. Not only will visitors witness age-old traditional rituals but they will also have the opportunity to enjoy cultural dances, traditional poems and special Hari Gawai cuisine.

Feline lovers in particular should not miss visiting the world’s only cat museum in Kuching.

Mulu Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Mulu Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna.

 

Quick Facts

  • Largest state in Malaysia: Sarawak
  • Largest state in Peninsula Malaysia: Pahang
  • Smallest state in Malaysia: Perlis
  • Longest river: Rajang River in Sarawak (563 kilometres)
  • Highest mountain: Mount Kinabalu (4,095.2 metres above sea level)
  • Longest mountain range: Titiwangsa Range (480 kilometres from north to south)
  • Highest mountain range: Cocker Range, Sabah

 

Climate

Located near the equator, Malaysia is generally hot and humid all year round with regular showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures at sea level average between 21°C to 32°C while at higher altitudes like Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands, temperatures range between 15°C to 25°C.

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The rainy season on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia is between April and October and is comparatively milder than the East Coast, which experiences a heavier rainy season (also called the Northeast Monsoon season) between the months of November to February, which may cause flooding in lowland areas.

 

Population

Proud to be Malaysian. (Photo credit: The Malaysian Times)

Proud to be Malaysian. (Photo credit: The Malaysian Times)

Before Malacca became a trade hub for Indian and Chinese traders, the Malayan population consisted mainly of Malays and indigenous people such as the Negrito, Senoi and Proto-Malay. When Malacca became an entrepot, more traders arrived and many Indians and Chinese opted to stay on in this rich country. This marked the beginning of Malaysia’s multiracial and multicultural population.

At the time of writing, Malaysia’s population is approximately 32 million, comprising of:

  • Malay: 68.6%
  • Chinese: 23.4%
  • Indian: 7%
  • Others: 1%

‘Others’ includes ethnic groups indigenous to East Malaysia. In Sabah, the major indigenous groups are the Kadazan-dusun (which itself has 40 sub-ethnic groups), Bajau and Murut. On the other hand, Sarawak has 40 sub-ethnic groups, each with its own distinctive lifestyle, culture and language. The largest indigenous groups are the Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu and Melanau. The term ‘Dayak’ refers to the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu along with the minor indigenous groups.

 

Religion

There are four major religions in Malaysia – Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. These faiths were introduced to the people of this land over the course of history, beginning with the introduction of Buddhism between the 2nd and 3rd centuries. During this time, Hinduism was also a major religion and its legacy can be seen today in the Bujang Valley archeological sites.

The introduction of Islam began with the conversion of Malacca’s Hindu founder, Parameswara, to Islam. During the mid-1400s, Islam began to proliferate as Malacca became the most important international trade centre due to its strategic location and many Middle Eastern traders flocked to this region to trade with China. When the Portuguese conquered Malacca, they brought their Christian faith with them. Evidence of this is St. Paul’s Church, a popular tourist spot today.

While Sunni Islam is the official religion of the country, the Malaysian constitution allows Malaysian citizens to practise any faith of their choice. Approximately 60% of Malaysians are Muslims, 19% Buddhists, 9% Christians and 6% Hindus. Other religious practices include Taoism, Confucianism and Sikhism. Indigenous people like the Orang Asli were traditionally animists, believing in spirits in various objects. However, at the turn of the 21st century, many Orang Aslis embraced monotheistic religions such as Islam and Christianity.

Putra Mosque, Putrajaya

Putra Mosque, Putrajaya

Although there are four Sunni schools of Islam (Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafii and Maliki), the Shafii School is the official school in Malaysia. All Malay Malaysians must be Muslim, governed by Sharia law and forbidden to convert to other religions. Malaysian law also states that those who wish to marry Muslims must convert to Islam.

As an Islamic country, Muslims are strongly encouraged to perform their prayers (solat) according to the Islamic tenets. Thus, it is not unusual to experience traffic congestion on Friday afternoons as many Muslims take some time off work to congregate at various mosques for Sembahyang Jumaat or Friday prayers.

Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur

Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur

Buddhism, as it is practised in Malaysia, is mainly of the Theravada and Mahayana schools, with a small percentage of Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism. It is not unusual to see many Malaysian Chinese practising a fusion of Taoism, Confucianism and ancestral worship along with Buddhism. Many Malaysian Chinese also worship worldly gods, local and land deities and this can be seen in the many Taoist temples all over Malaysia, each with its own patron deity.

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang

Although Hinduism was traditionally practised by the Indian community of Malaysia, these days there are Indians who are Christians. With the diversification of the Malaysian population, there are also some Malaysian Chinese who are of the Hindu faith and it is not unusual to see some Chinese carrying the kavadi at Batu Caves during Thaipusam.

St. Francis Xavier Church, Melaka

St. Francis Xavier Church, Melaka

Arab Christian traders introduced Christianity to the Malay Peninsula as early as the 7th century. However, it was the capture of Malacca by the Portuguese that heralded the wide spread of Christianity across the land. Under British rule, missionary schools such as the La Salle schools, Methodist schools and Convent schools not only further strengthened Christianity in Malaysia, but also helped shape the early Malaysian education system.

Presently, the major Christian denominations in Malaysia are the Anglicans, Baptists, Brethren, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Roman Catholics.

Other faiths and belief systems in Malaysia include Confucianism, Taoism, Sikhism, Jehovah Witness, Baha’i and animism, which is still practised by the Orang Asli.

 

Language

Although Malay is the official language of Malaysia, English is widely spoken and commonly used in business dealings as well as for certain official matters. Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and other Chinese dialects such as Hakka and Teochew are also spoken. Other languages spoken in Malaysia include Tamil, Punjabi, Hindi and indigenous languages such as Kadazan and Iban that are used commonly in East Malaysia.

A distinctively Malaysian “language” is Manglish (or Malaysian English) which is a fusion of Malay, Chinese and Indian dialects with the Queen’s English. For more on Manglish creole, please read on.

 

Interesting Fact

According to The World FactBook by the Central Intelligence Agency, Malaysia has 134 living languages — 112 indigenous languages and 22 non-indigenous languages.

 

Manglish: English with Malaysian Flavour

Malaysians can recognise other Malaysians just by the way they speak English, or rather Manglish. With the liberal usage of “lah” that has many different meanings and nuances combined with other words unique to Malaysia, many native English speakers find the Malaysian brand of English fascinating and confusing at the same time.

We have put together some common Manglish phrases that might be helpful for first-time visitors to Malaysia.

 

Interesting Malaysian Slang

  • Handphone: Mobile phone
  • Gostan: Originates from ‘go astern’. Usually used for reversing vehicles.
  • Outstation: Out of town
  • Terror: To describe someone as being awesome
  • Yum cha: Hang out with friends (literally means “drink tea” and is probably the result of Malaysia’s “teh tarik culture”
  • Walao/Walao eh: Expression of disbelief or surprise
  • Ang moh/Gwai lo/Mat Salleh: Caucasian
  • Tapau: Takeaway
  • Leng zhai: Handsome boy
  • Leng lui: Pretty girl
  • Bojio: Did not invite (in relations to being invited to an event or gathering)
  • Belanja: Treat, usually used in relation to buying someone food or drink
  • Potong Stim: To cut short another’s enjoyment or fun, the equivalent of a wet blanket or killjoy.
  • Kantoi: Caught red handed
  • Mamak: Refers to Indian Muslims
  • Cincai: Whatever
  • Paiseh: Embarrassed or ashamed of something
  • Tackle: To court or woo a crush, to win the affection of the girl or boy
  • Action: To describe snobbery or arrogance

 

Useful Phrases

  • Good morning: Selamat pagi
  • Good afternoon: Selamat tengahari
  • Good evening: Selamat petang
  • Good night: Selamat malam
  • Welcome (greeting): Selamat datang
  • How are you?: Apa khabar?
  • I’m fine: Khabar baik
  • Thank you: Terima kasih
  • You’re welcome: Sama-sama
  • Good bye: Selamat jalan
  • Where is the toilet?: Di mana tandas?
  • Excuse me (to pass someone): Tumpang lalu.

 

20 Places of Interest to Visit in Malaysia

 

1. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, is home to the world’s tallest twin towers, standing 451.9 metres above street level. The iconic twin towers feature an exterior of steel and glass and a traditionally inspired interior. Connecting the two towers is the world’s highest two-storey skybridge which also doubles up as a viewing deck for stunning views of Malaysia’s capital city. There is also a gift shop where you can buy keepsakes of your visit.

Stunning view of the world’s tallest twin towers

Stunning view of the world’s tallest twin towers

How to get there: petronastwintowers.com.my/gettinghere
Tickets and opening hours: petronastwintowers.com.my/tickets
Website: petronastwintowers.com.my

 

2. Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur

A shopper’s haven and a foodie’s paradise, Petaling Street or “Chee Cheong Kai” as it is also known, is situated right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. In the past, traders would set up their stalls just like in the local night market commonly known as “pasar malam”. After a facelift, there is now a large Oriental-style arch at Petaling Street’s main entrance leading in to a walkway with proper roofs to shield the traders and visitors from nature’s elements.

Petaling Street comes alive at night. (Photo credit: The Star)

Petaling Street comes alive at night. (Photo credit: The Star)

There is much to eat, explore and buy here. Foodies will be spoilt for choice with the huge variety of street food, cafes and other eateries while shopaholics can easily get lost in the maze of stalls selling everything from leather goods to footwear, clothes and souvenirs.

Website: kuala-lumpur.ws/klareas/chinatown_petaling.htm

 

3. Legoland Malaysia, Johor

Legoland Malaysia is the first Legoland in Asia and the first international park in Malaysia with over 70 hands-on rides, slides, shows and attractions for families with children aged between 2 to 12 years. Fun-filled adventure starts at The Beginning and continues through LEGO® Technic, LEGO® Kingdoms, Imagination, Land of Adventure, LEGO® City and MINILAND.

Entrance to LEGOLAND Waterpark, the perfect way to cool off on a hot day

The entrance to Legoland Waterpark, the perfect way to cool off on a hot day

The Legoland Water Park offers splash-tacular water rides, slides and other aquatic fun activities. End the day with a restful stay at Legoland Hotel with its LEGO-themed rooms. There are combo packages on offer when you book your tickets and accommodation online.

How to get there: legoland.com.my/planning-your-visit/how-to-get-here
Opening hours: legoland.com.my/planning-your-visit/park-hours
Tickets: legoland.com.my/book-visit/day-tickets
Website: legoland.com.my

 

4. Pinang Peranakan Museum, Penang

Dedicated to Penang’s Peranakan heritage, this mansion turned museum houses thousands of Peranakan artefacts and antiques. This well-preserved mansion previously belonged to 19th century Chinese tycoon, Chung Keng Quee, and showcases Peranakan architecture and traditional interior. Visitors can catch a glimpse of unique Peranakan customs and lifestyle from the displays.

Opening hours and tickets: pinangperanakanmansion.com.my/#Visiting_Hours
Website: pinangperanakanmansion.com.my

A mansion turned museum, it is well-preserved and has thousands of precious Peranakan artifacts and antiques.

A mansion turned museum, the Pinang Peranakan Museum is well-preserved and houses thousands of precious Peranakan artefacts and antiques.

 

5. Kabili-Sepilok Nature Reserve, Sandakan, Sabah

The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre is where orphaned, displaced and injured Orang Utans are rehabilitated for until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is where orphaned, displaced and injured orangutans are rehabilitated until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

Home to the last orangutans, this sanctuary is dedicated to these near-extinct primates. At this nature reserve is Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre where orphaned, displaced and injured orangutans are cared for until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

Visitors to the rehabilitation centre have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these loveable primates, especially during feeding time (10 a.m. and 3 p.m.).

Visitors can also learn more about Malaysia’s rainforests at the Rainforest Discovery Centre while those who love hiking can explore various nature trails such as the Water Hole Trail and Mangrove Forest Trail.

How to get there and tickets: wildlife.sabah.gov.my/?q=en/content/sepilok-orangutan-rehabilitation-centre
Website: sepilok.com

 

6. Sarawak Cultural Village, Sarawak

Located at the foot of mythical Mount Santubong, this award-winning living museum showcases Sarawak’s rich indigenous heritage and is where visitors get to experience Sarawak’s ethnic diversity all in one place. Here, you will be able to see traditional handicrafts such as Pua Kumbu (Iban textiles), Bidayuh Tambok (basket), Iban Parang (swords), Melanau Terendak (sunhat), Orang Ulu wood carvings and Chinese ceramics.

Traditional Iban warrior dance, ngajat is performed on a regular basis at Sarawak Cultural Village

Traditional Iban warrior dance, ngajat is performed on a regular basis at Sarawak Cultural Village.

Visitors can also visit Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu longhouses, Melanau tall houses, Chinese farmhouses, Malay houses and Penan huts to get a glimpse of Sarawak’s multiethnic lifestyles. There are also cultural performances such as the traditional warrior dance ngajat that should not be missed. This is also the venue for the World Harvest Festival and Rainforest World Music Festival.

Website: scv.com.my

 

7. Jonker Street, Melaka

Just two hours from Kuala Lumpur, Jonker Street is one of the most popular tourist spots in Malaysia for good reason. From its vibrant and colourful night market every Friday and Saturday where you can eat and shop till you drop to the many pre-war houses turned cafes, there is so much to see, eat, shop and explore.

On Friday and Saturday, Jonker Walk turns the whole street alive and buzzing with traders hawking their mouth watering street food and knick-knacks.

On Friday and Saturday, Jonker Walk turns the whole street alive and buzzing with traders hawking mouth-watering street food and knick-knacks.

Parallel to the main street is Harmony Street (Jalan Tukang Emas) aptly named as there is a Chinese temple, Hindu temple and Muslim mosque all within a stone’s throw from each other. The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple with its intricately carved woodwork is Malaysia’s oldest temple dating back to 1646. Also on the same street is Masjid Kampung Keling built by Indian Muslim traders in 1748, with influences from Sumatran, Chinese, Hindu, European and local Malay traditions. Beside this mosque is Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, built in 1781 dedicated to Lord Ganesha.

How to get there: malacca.ws/jonker-street

 

8. Dutch Square, Melaka

Highly recognisable with its signature red colour, no visit to Malaysia is complete without taking photos at this picturesque historical icon. Formerly the residence of the Dutch governors, The Stadhuys is currently Melaka Museum. Built in 1753 to replace a Portuguese church in ruins, the Christ Church is still used to conduct prayer services and mass. It features the original hand-carved wooden pews which are approximately 200 years old and an altar with an intricate painting of the Last Supper.

Christ Church and The Stadhuys are the Dutch’s legacy

Christ Church and The Stadhuys are legacies of Dutch colonists

Also within the Dutch Square is the Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower which looks distinctively Dutch although it was built by a wealthy Straits Chinese family.

How to get there: malacca.ws/attractions/dutch-square-melaka.htm

 

9. Floating Street Food Market, Kelantan

The first of its kind in Malaysia, the Floating Street Food Market in Kelantan is similar to the ones in Thailand. Located at Pulau Suri in Tumpat, this floating food court offers a wide variety of Kelantanese street food and delicacies such as kerabu nipah (a local salad made with wild palm flowers) and nasi tumpang (rice wrapped in banana leaf with an assortment of dishes).

This unique floating street food market opens on Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., allowing visitors ample time to slowly explore and savour the offerings available and perhaps even have a picnic by the riverbank.

How to get there: malaysia.travel/en/my/places/states-of-malaysia/kelantan/floating-street-food-market

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/KelantanFloatingMarket.mp4

 

10. Phra Buddha Bharameedharm Chamruslok Temple (Wat Machimmaran), Kelantan

Located in Tumpat, Kelantan, Phra Buddha Bharameedharm Chamruslok Temple features Malaysia’s largest sitting Buddha at 30 metres high, similar in size to the one on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. The lips of this stunning Buddha are coated in gold.

Phra Buddha Bharameedharm Chamruslok Temple – Home to Malaysia’s largest sitting Buddha.

Phra Buddha Bharameedharm Chamruslok Temple is home to Malaysia’s largest sitting Buddha.

Thai and Chinese-style murals and frescoes decorate the interior of the temple. Situated amidst Mother Nature’s lush tranquil greenery, this temple is conducive for meditation. There is also a turtle sanctuary in the vicinity of this Chinese-Thai temple.

How to get there and opening hours: malaysia-traveller.com/wat-machimmaram.html

 

11. Sam Poh Tong, Perak

Carved out of a natural limestone hill, this Buddhist temple is a spectacular sight especially when it’s all lit up at night. The award-winning temple is a 2.5-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. The beautifully landscaped gardens and fish pond are a favourite amongst photographers. There is also a pond that serves as a tortoise sanctuary in the vicinity of the temple.

Sam Poh Tong is the largest Buddhist cave temple in Malaysia

Sam Poh Tong is the largest Buddhist cave temple in Malaysia

Considered the largest cave temple in Malaysia, Sam Poh Tong has various Buddha statues interspersed with natural stalagmites and stalactites, making this one of the most unique Buddhist temples in the country and region. Visitors should be prepared for the 246-step climb up to the open cave but the effort is worthwhile as you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Ipoh city.

How to get there: malaysia.travel/en/places/states-of-malaysia/perak/Sam-Poh-Tong-Temple

 

12. Merapoh Caves, Pahang

Situated outside Taman Negara and relatively unknown, Merapoh in Pahang has 85 world-class caves ranging from show caves and archeology caves to adventure caves. It is truly a caver’s paradise. Believed to be more than 1,300 million years old, some caves have large chambers, some are filled with unique formations and some have secret crystal clear pools.

Ancient drawings seen at Gua Seribu Cerita, Merapoh (Photo credit: lailibasir.blogspot.my)

Ancient drawings at Gua Seribu Cerita, Merapoh (Photo credit: lailibasir.blogspot.my)

Gua Hari Malaysia has a river that forms cascading waterfalls and pools, ideal for climbing, swimming, tubing and abseiling. Gua Seribu Cerita has many interesting and mysterious cave paintings to be explored. Another unique cave is Gua Tahi Bintang where there are paintings resembling shooting stars, believed to be between 100 to 200 years old.

Website: malaysia.travel/en/my/places/states-of-malaysia/pahang/merapoh-pahang-caving-paradise
How to get there: lailibasir.blogspot.my/2013/10/merapoh-caving_19.html

 

13. Kechara Forest Retreat, Pahang

Slightly over an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, situated near Bentong’s famous Chamang Waterfalls is Kechara Forest Retreat, home to the world’s largest statue of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden. Built in the midst of Pahang’s lush green rainforest, this contemporary spiritual centre has a modern prayer hall, unique container accommodation, a tranquil fishpond for meditation and many large outdoor Buddha statues for visitors to say a quick prayer or make candle offerings.

Home to the largest World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden, Kechara Forest Retreat is a good place to retreat away from the hustle bustle of the city to reconnect to Nature and one’s self.

Home to the world’s largest statue of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden, Kechara Forest Retreat is ideal for retreating from the hustle and bustle of the city to reconnect to nature and oneself.

This retreat centre also offers short term non-religious meditation programmes and wellness workshops to promote physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing.

Website: retreat.kechara.com

 

14. KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur

Originally constructed as a means to improve the quality of telecommunication and broadcasting transmissions, KL Tower has become one of the most recognisable landmarks in Kuala Lumpur. At 421 metres tall, it is the tallest telecommunications tower in South East Asia. For adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies, KL Tower is known as World Basejump Centre and is home to the largest and longest-running urban BASE (Building, Antenna, Span, Earth).

There is an observation deck 276 metres above ground level where visitors can enjoy views of the whole city. There are also many other attractions such as Blue Coral Aquarium, upside down house, a mini zoo, XD theatre, F1 simulator and gift shops for souvenir shopping.

KL Tower by night

KL Tower by night

For those looking for a different dining experience, Atmosphere 360, a revolving restaurant 282 metres above ground is a good choice and offers a menu that is prepared using the freshest produce. Besides this revolving restaurant, there are four more eateries in KL Tower.

Tickets: menarakl.com.my/index.php/online-ticketing
How to get there: menarakl.com.my/index.php/visitor-info/location?id=93
Website: menarakl.com.my

 

15. Mount Kinabalu, Sabah

At 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) above sea level, Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in Malaysia and Borneo Island. Considered sacred by the Kadazan-dusun, it is believed that the name of this mountain is derived from the Kadazan words “Aki Nabalu” which means “the revered place of the dead”. Kinabalu Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the natural habitat for 5,000 to 6,000 species of plants, 326 species of birds and more than 100 species of mammals. One can find the largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia, here as well as catch a glimpse of the adorable orangutan.

UNESCO World Heritage site Mount Kinabalu is considered a sacred place by Kadazan-dusun (Photo credit: G Adventures)

UNESCO World Heritage site Mount Kinabalu is considered a sacred place by the Kadazan-dusun (Photo credit: G Adventures)

Hailed as the world’s safest and most conquerable peak, Mount Kinabalu is generally an easy climb and the average climber of reasonable fitness takes about two days to climb up and down the mountain. As climbing permits are restricted to 130 per day, it is best to check with Sabah Parks on the availability of permits when planning for the climb. More adventurous climbers can scale the mountain through Mountain Torq Via Ferrata trail.

Website: mountkinabalu.com/mount-kinabalu

 

16. Sipadan Island, Sabah

Covered in lush rainforest, this tiny 12-hectare island has incredibly diverse marine life, making it one of the top 10 best dive sites in the world. This oceanic island is the only one in Malaysia and was formed by living corals growing over an extinct volcano over thousands of years.

The best time to dive at Sipadan is between April and December. As diving permits are limited to 120 per day, it is best to book your permit via your hotel or tour agency prior to flying in. Divers will be able to enjoy schools of barracuda swimming in a tornado-like formation, graceful manta rays, gentle giant greenback turtles and a host of other interesting sea creatures. As corals grow in abundance here, divers can also enjoy exploring live coral gardens.

How to get there: sipadan.com/Getting-here.php
Website: sipadan.com

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/SipadanSabah.mp4

 

17. Crystal Mosque, Terengganu

Built on a man-made island called Pulau Wan Man, Masjid Kristal or Crystal Mosque is believed to be one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. This is also Malaysia’s first intelligent mosque with built-in IT infrastructure and wifi, providing easy access to the electronic Quran.

Crystal Mosque by night. Simply stunning!

The Crystal Mosque is simply stunning by night!

Made of steel, glass and crystal which gives the mosque its crystal-like appearance, the architecture features Moorish and Gothic elements. A large crystal chandelier in the main prayer hall is this mosque’s pièce de résistance. By night, the Crystal Mosque is bathed in light of various colours such as yellow, blue, pink and green, making it one of the most “photogenic” mosques in the world.

Mosque etiquette: itc.gov.my/article/etiquettes-of-visiting-a-mosque
How to get there: backpackingmalaysia.com/things-to-do/crystal-mosque-islamic-civilisation-park/kuala-terengganu
Website: itc.gov.my/mosque/masjid-kristal-crystal-mosque

 

18. Batu Caves, Selangor

Home to the world’s largest Lord Murugan statue standing at 140 feet tall, it is hard not to miss Batu Caves. Golden in colour, the majestic Lord Murugan statue guarding the main entrance has become an icon for not only the Hindus but for all Malaysians as well.

Inside Batu Cave

Inside Batu Caves

Visitors must climb 272 steps to reach the top where the largest cave, Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, is located 100 metres above sea level. This iconic limestone cave is the focal point for Hindus and one of the best times to visit Batu Caves is during Thaipusam, one of the most important dates for the Hindu Tamil community to commemorate the victory of Lord Murugan (also known as Lord Subramaniam) over darkness.

To read more on Thaipusam and how to get to Batu Caves, click here.

Website: malaysia.travel/en/nl/places/states-of-malaysia/selangor/batu-caves

 

19. Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Melaka

Built in 1645 by Kapitan Lee Wei King to serve as the main place of worship for the Hokkien clan, Cheng Hoon Teng is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia. This Chinese temple practises the Three Doctrinal Systems of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.

Malaysia’s oldest temple, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple was awarded a UNESCO for outstanding architectural restoration.

Malaysia’s oldest temple, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding architectural restoration.

Situated close to Harmony Street or Jalan Tukang Emas, Cheng Hoon Teng’s distinctive main entrance is ornately carved with Oriental motifs, flanked by a pair of antique Fu Dogs. The main shrine hall is dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin. Across the road is a traditional Chinese opera theatre that forms part of Cheng Hoon Teng’s complex. In 2003, this temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding architectural restoration.

 

20. Taman Negara, Pahang

Taman Negara is the largest national park in Malaysia covering the states of Pahang (2,477 km2), Kelantan (1,043 km2) and Terengganu (853 km2), with a total area of 4,343 km2. Known to be the oldest rainforest in the world, Taman Negara is approximately 130 million years old and this ecotourism destination has much to offer, not just in terms of its rich flora and fauna but also various interesting and thrilling outdoor activities.

One of the park’s main attractions is the 530-metre-long canopy walk that is 40 metres off the ground. Initially built for research purposes, the canopy walk eventually became a visitor favourite as it offers stunning panoramic views of the park below.

Visitors to Taman Negara may get the opportunity to see wildlife such as this Clouded Leopard

Visitors to Taman Negara may get the opportunity to see wildlife such as this Clouded Leopard

Taman Negara is one of the best places for jungle trekking and night jungle walks as it is home to 14,000 species of plants, 240 species of trees, 250 species of birds, 200 large animals, and also the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia. There are also many natural limestone caves to be explored such as Gua Kepayang Besar and Gua Kepayang Kecil. Another popular activity is rapid shooting along seven rapids at Sungai Tembeling.

How to get there and tips: wonderfulmalaysia.com/taman-negara-national-park-malaysia.htm
Website: tamannegara.asia/places

 

20 Things to Do in Malaysia

 

1. Go on a Jungle Adventure

Up to 70% of Malaysia is covered in tropical rainforest with 11.6% in pristine condition. Home to the world’s oldest rainforest estimated at 130 million years old, Malaysia is a top ecotourism destination that has much to offer nature lovers as well as adventure seekers. Rich in diverse flora and fauna, the Malaysian rainforest is home to endangered animals such as the Asian Elephant, Indochinese Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Malayan Tapir and Orangutan.

There are four national parks in Peninsula Malaysia with the largest and oldest being Taman Negara, covering the states of Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu. It is a haven for nature lovers and jungle trekkers as it boasts extensive tropical flora as well as wildlife that is largely untouched. The other national parks worth a visit are Endau Rompin, Gunung Ledang and Penang national parks.

Over in Sabah, there are 17 national and state parks. The most notable of these is Kinabalu National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. With Mount Kinabalu being the highest peak in Malaysia, this national park is not only a nature lover’s paradise for its rich biodiversity but is also a popular destination for those who love conquering mountain peaks.

The other national park that has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site is the Mulu Caves National Park in Sarawak with its world famous caverns formed from sandstone, limestone and shale. Some of the main attractions here are the Sarawak Chamber (the world’s largest natural chamber), Deer Cave (the largest cave passage in the world) and Clearwater Cave (the longest cave in South East Asia).

For Malaysia’s Top 10 Hill and Jungle Adventures, click here.

For more information:
malaysia-wildlife-and-nature.com/national-parks-in-malaysia.html

 

2. Go Island Hopping

Swaying palms trees. Deliciously warm sea breezes. Sparkling azure waters. Picturesque sandy beaches. Amazingly diverse marine life. These are some of the things that you can expect when you go island hopping in Malaysia.

Top on the list is Sipadan Island, hailed by famed marine life researcher, explorer and scientist Jacques Cousteau to be “an untouched piece of art”. This world class diving haven is a firm favourite with the diving community for its 3,000 species of sea creatures and live coral gardens and it is no wonder that Sipadan made it to Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine Gold List for “The Top Dive Destination in the World”.

Paradise on earth (Photo credit: Malaysia by hotel.com)

Paradise on earth (Photo credit: Malaysia by hotel.com)

For exclusivity and postcard perfect beaches, Rawa Island fits the bill while those seeking a more luxurious island holiday can go to Langkawi, famed for its stunning internationally-acclaimed spa resorts.

For Malaysia’s Top 10 Island Holidays, click here.

For more information:
edition.cnn.com/travel/article/malaysia-best-islands/index.html

 

3. Visit Malaysia’s Spiritual Power Places

Malaysia is truly a melting pot of diverse ethnic groups, cultures and religious beliefs. No other place on this planet has such diversity co-existing so harmoniously. Given this country’s colourful history and rich heritage, it is not unusual to see places of worship from different faiths or denominations located just a stone’s throw away from each other.

No other place in this world will you see such diversity co-existing so harmoniously

There is no other place in the world where you will see such diversity co-existing so harmoniously

One such street is in Penang. Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling or Harmony Street is where one can visit the Kuan Yin Goddess of Mercy Temple, Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, Sri Mahamariamman Temple and Kapitan Keling Mosque just by walking down the street. The other Harmony Street is located in Melaka. Also known as Jalan Tukang Emas, one can take a stroll down the road to visit Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, Kampung Kling Mosque and Xiang Lin Si Temple.

For Malaysia’s Top 10 Spiritual Power Places, click here.

 

4. Go on a Foodie Road Trip

Malaysia has an amazing array of food from the many different ethnic and sub-ethnic groups living here. One of the best ways to truly savour authentic Malaysian food is to explore roadside street food, the neighbourhood coffee shop or pasar malam (night market). The best places to start your foodie road trip are Melaka, Ipoh and Penang where you will be spoilt for choice.

Some of Malaysia’s favourite food, clockwise from top left, Roti Canai, Pai Tee, Satay and Nasi Lemak.

Some of Malaysia’s favourite foods, clockwise from top left: Roti Canai, Pai Tee, Satay and Nasi Lemak.

Must Try Foods

  • Melaka: Satay Celup, Chicken Rice Balls, Nyonya Cuisine, Assam Pedas
  • Ipoh: Beansprouts with Steamed Chicken, Salt Baked Chicken, Caramel Egg Pudding, Ipoh Hor Fun
  • Penang: Assam Laksa, Pasembur, Hokkien Mee (Prawn Mee), Rojak Buah

Need more ideas? Here are 25 of Malaysia’s most-loved foods.

 

5. Experience Malaysian Festivals

Malaysian are blessed to be able to enjoy the many different celebrations, each unique and rich in tradition and culture.

Malaysian are blessed to be able to enjoy many different celebrations, each unique and rich in tradition and culture.

The home of many cultures, one of the best things about Malaysia are the major festivals celebrated by each of the major ethnic groups. During these festivals, Malaysians of all races get together to celebrate and it is at times like these that one can truly experience diversity at its finest. For example, during Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid al-Fitr), it is usual for non-Muslims to visit their Muslim friends to celebrate Hari Raya.

Below are key dates when visitors can experience the rich culture and spirituality each of these festivals has to offer. As most festivals follow a unique calendar, it would be best to check the exact date of the festival each year as they may differ from year to year.

  • Thaipusam: Between mid-January to mid-February
  • Chinese New Year: Between late January to early February (New Year’s Day in the Chinese lunar calendar)
  • Wesak Day: May
  • Pesta Ka’amatan: 30th to 31st May
  • Gawai Dayak: 1st June
  • Hari Raya Aidilfitri: Between July to early September (ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar)
  • Festa San Pedro: End of June
  • Hungry Ghost Festival: Between August to September (seventh month of the lunar calendar)
  • Deepavali: Between mid-October to early November
  • Christmas: 25th December

To read more about the major festivals in Malaysia, click here.

 

6. Shop Till You Drop

Malaysia is a shopaholic’s paradise as there are shopping opportunities right from the moment you arrive in Malaysia via Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the local night markets. In big cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor, there are malls with a whole array of stores ranging from branded goods to cute little knick-knacks.

Malaysia is a shopper’s haven as there are many shopping outlets catering different market segments

Malaysia is a shopper’s haven

Shopping Malls

  • Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur: suriaklcc.com.my/shopping
  • Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur: midvalley.com.my
  • The Gardens, Kuala Lumpur: thegardensmall.com.my
  • Pavilion Kuala Lumpur: pavilion-kl.com
  • Sunway Pyramid, Selangor: sunwaypyramid.com
  • The Curve, Selangor: thecurve.com.my
  • Aman Central, Kedah: amancentral.com.my
  • Gurney Plaza, Penang: gurneyplaza.com.my
  • Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall, Melaka: dataranpahlawan.com
  • Imago KK Times Square, Sabah: imago.my
  • The Spring Shopping Mall, Sarawak: thespring.com.my

Premium Outlets

  • Johor Premium Outlets, Johor: premiumoutlets.com.my/johor-premium-outlets
  • Genting Highlands Premium Outlets, Pahang: premiumoutlets.com.my/genting-highlands-premium-outlets
  • Mitsui Outlet Park, KLIA, Sepang: mitsuioutletparkklia.com.my
  • Freeport A Famosa Outlet, Melaka: freeportafamosa.com

Duty-free

  • Padang Besar, Perlis
  • Bukit Kayu Hitam, Perlis
  • Langkawi, Kedah
  • Labuan, Sabah

For a full list of duty-free shopping: asiancorrespondent.com/2012/08/a-guide-to-tax-free-shopping-in-malaysia/#0PwvtfD5kB2HxSkA.97

For more information: globalblue.com/tax-free-shopping/malaysia/tax-free-shopping-in-malaysia

 

7. Feed the Homeless

Experience Malaysia in a different way by volunteering at a soup kitchen such as Kechara Soup Kitchen or Pertiwi. At Kechara Soup Kitchen, not only can you volunteer to distribute food to the homeless on the streets but those with a medical background can join the medical team in bringing relief to those who are sick or need medical attention. You can also help distribute groceries to the urban poor under Kechara’s Food Bank programme.

One of the best ways to spend time meaningfully is by feeding the homeless

One of the best ways to spend time meaningfully is by feeding the homeless

Like Kechara Soup Kitchen, PERTIWI also has a soup kitchen and medical services. You can also help out in Kasih PERTIWI, a home for HIV+ children.

Kechara Soup Kitchen:
kechara.com/soup-kitchen

PERTIWI:
pertiwi.org.my

 

8. Explore Meditation

Imagine stress melting away from your body as you reconnect with yourself and Mother Nature when you explore meditation in lush, tranquil and green surroundings, located just slightly over an hour from Kuala Lumpur. The monthly Inner Peace Retreat at Kechara Forest Retreat has a steady fan base and participants of this 3D2N programme return home feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and inspired. Participants are taught basic meditation techniques and the sunrise meditation on top of the misty hills comes highly recommended.

Sunrise meditation comes highly recommended at Kechara Forest Retreat. (Photo credit: Ph’ng Li Kheng)

Sunrise meditation comes highly recommended at Kechara Forest Retreat. (Photo credit: Phng Li Kheng)

Just over an hour away from Melaka is Alokarama, Tampin, an eco-holistic centre where meditation retreats are conducted based on Buddhist principles. During this retreat, participants are to observe the Five Precepts, maintain Noble Silence and practice mindfulness at all times.

Kechara Forest Retreat
retreat.kechara.com

Aloka Foundation
alokafoundation.staging.webb.my

 

9. Try Wreck Diving

Off the coast of Terengganu in the azure waters of Redang Island is one of the world’s best coral gardens with hundreds of live coral species co-existing harmoniously with the many sea creatures such as manta rays and sharks. There are also 31 stunning dive sites here, which include two World War II shipwrecks and a black coral garden.

For more information:

  • malaysia.travel/en/experiences/top-25-experiences/25
  • dmpm.nre.gov.my
Dive at Redang Island and explore shipwreck sites as well as the black coral garden

Dive at Redang Island and explore shipwrecks as well as the black coral garden

 

10. Try Batik Painting

Let your creative juices flow by going for a batik painting workshop. You can also try traditional block stamping, a process that is slightly slower than hand drawn batik but capable of yielding stunning results.

Have fun at batik painting class

Try your hand at batik painting

Batik Painting Workshop
mybatik.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=109_110

Batik Painting Class
jadibatek.com/index.php/en/batik-class

 

11. Watch Wayang Kulit

Catch this dying art form of shadow puppetry or wayang kulit and you will be regaled with Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, albeit a localised version. With Javanese origins, wayang kulit is a form of storytelling involving leather puppets accompanied by traditional music.

Where to watch: eksentrika.com/wayang-kulit-at-kl

Wayang Kulit Ramayan by Persatuan Pengiat Seni Budaya Kelantan

Wayang Kulit Ramayan by Persatuan Pengiat Seni Budaya Kelantan

 

12. Learn More About Malaysia’s Rich History

Malaysia has a rich history given its strategic location that made it an important and wealthy port that eventually became much coveted amongst European colonists between the 16th to 20th centuries.

Dedicated to the rich history of the Malacca Sultanate, the building itself is a replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s palace

Dedicated to the rich history of the Malacca Sultanate, the Melaka Sultanate Museum building is a replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s palace.

History buffs can spend the day learning about Malaysian history at any of the following museums. Some museums charge entrance fees while others are free of charge.

  • National Museum (Muzium Negara): muziumnegara.gov.my
  • Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Melaka: babanyonyamuseum.com
  • Melaka Sultanate Museum, Melaka: perzim.gov.my/ms/portfolio/melaka-sultanate-palace-museum
  • More museums: perzim.gov.my/ms/visit-the-museum/museums-network

 

13. Explore Unique Museums

Not everyone is into Malaysian history. Fortunately, Malaysia has a few museums that are interesting and educational. Below is a list of unique museums:

  • Pineapple Museum, Johor: johor.attractionsinmalaysia.com/Pineapple-Museum.php
  • Paddy Museum, Kedah: kedah.attractionsinmalaysia.com/Kedah-Paddy-Museum.php
  • Islamic Museum, Kelantan: kelantan.attractionsinmalaysia.com/MuseumIslamic.php
  • National Textile Museum, Kuala Lumpur: muziumtekstilnegara.gov.my
  • Chimney Museum, Labuan: jmm.gov.my/en/museum/chimney-museum
  • Penang Toy Museum, Penang: penang.ws/penang-attractions/toy-museum.htm
  • Camera Museum, Penang: penang-discovery.com/attraction/the_camera_museum
  • Kuching Cat Museum, Sarawak: sarawaktourism.com/attraction/cat-museum
Kuching Cat Museum in Kuching, Sarawak is a must-go for feline lovers.

The Kuching Cat Museum in Sarawak is a must-visit for feline lovers.

 

14. Go on a Heritage Trail Trishaw Tour

Hop on a trishaw and let the local guide take you on an unforgettable tour of Penang’s heritage points of interest. Highlights of the tour include Fort Cornwallis, Little India, Harmony Street and The Blue Mansion.

Trishaw rides are a novelty these days (Photo credit: travelbuddee.com)

Trishaw rides are a novelty these days (Photo credit: travelbuddee.com)

There are also similar excursions in Melaka covering places of interest such as Dutch Square, Jonker Street, Harmony Street (Jalan Tukang Emas) and A Formosa.

For more information:

  • Penang: marimari.com/tour/malaysia/penang/daytour/heritage-trishaw-trail.html
  • Melaka: visit-malaysia.yinteing.com/2011/07/trishaw-or-beca-rides-in-malacca-town

 

15. Conquer Malaysia’s Highest Peak

Malaysia’s highest peak, Mount Kinabalu, is known to be safe and relatively easy to climb. At lower levels, climbers are able to enjoy the rich flora and fauna of Kinabalu National Park en route to the peak.

For more information:
mountkinabalu.com/mount-kinabalu

Stunning view awaits those who make it right to the top

Stunning views await those who make it to the top

 

16. Get Acquainted with Malaysian Handicraft

Spend the day browsing through many different types of Malaysian handicraft at Central Market (Pasar Seni). From batik sarongs, songket and pewter to exquisite silver jewellery, there is so much to see and buy here.

Central Market also has handicraft demonstrations and workshops such as DIY batik classes, henna painting and Chinese calligraphy. There are also many eateries to tantalise even the most fussy tastebuds. Every Saturday at 8 p.m., there is a cultural performance at the Outdoor Stage.

From batik sarongs, songket and pewter to exquisite silver jewellery, there is so much to see and shop at Central market, Kuala Lumpur.

From batik sarongs, songket and pewter to exquisite silver jewellery, there is so much to see and buy at Central market, Kuala Lumpur.

Below is a list of useful links for those interested to learn more about Malaysian handicrafts.

  • Central Market, Kuala Lumpur: centralmarket.com.my
  • Perbadanan Kemajuan Kraftangan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur: kraftangan.gov.my
  • Komplek Kraf Kuala Lumpur: kraftangan.gov.my/kompleks-kraf/kompleks-kraf-kuala-lumpur
  • Komplek Kraf Langkawi: kraftangan.gov.my/kompleks-kraf/kompleks-kraf-langkawi
  • Komplek Kraf Johor: kraftangan.gov.my/kompleks-kraf/kompleks-kraf-johor

 

17. Experience Night and Flea Markets

Hit the local pasar malam or night market and have your fill of local street food, snacks and desserts. From local Malay fare like satay, keropok lekor and nasi lemak berlauk to assam laksa, char kway teow and the foreign flavours of Korean rice cakes and Nutella crepes, you can savour all these and much more at the many vibrant night markets all over the country. The pasar malam is also a good place to find novelty items for the kitchen and home, souvenirs, fashion accessories, mobile phone accessories, footwear and clothes at reasonable prices. Do practise your bargaining skills as some traders allow reasonable discounts.

Every Saturday night, Malaysia’s longest pasar malam in Setia Alam, Selangor comes to live, turning the whole street into a carnival-like atmosphere.

Every Saturday night, Malaysia’s longest pasar malam in Setia Alam, Selangor comes to life, imbuing the whole street with a carnival-like atmosphere.

Setia Alam Night Market in Selangor is the longest night market in the country at the time of writing. Every Saturday night, Setia Alam Night Market comes to life, imbuing the whole street with a carnival-like atmosphere. At 2.4 kilometres long, you can spend the whole night eating, shopping and just taking in the sights and sounds of a typical Malaysian night market. As parking spaces are rather limited, do expect to park a fair distance away and walk there.

Jonker Walk, Melaka

  • Website: malacca.ws/jonker-street

Batu Ferringhi Night Market, Penang

  • Website: gopenang.my/batu-ferringhi-night-market
  • How to get there: goo.gl/Aexs78

Taman Connaught Night Market, Kuala Lumpur

  • Website: tallypress.com/places-to-go/7-night-markets-in-kuala-lumpur-selangor-you-must-not-miss
  • How to get there: goo.gl/jPuJNi

Setia Alam Night Market, Selangor

  • Website: pasanglang.com/Setia-Alam-Pasar-Malam–the-longest-pasar-malam-in-Malaysia–food-78
  • How to get there: goo.gl/aGkZgs

Ipoh Walk Night Bazaar, Perak

  • Website: ipohwalk.com
  • How to get there: goo.gl/qL2tAA

Gaya Sunday Market, Sabah:

  • Website: sabahguide.com/gaya-street
  • How to get there: goo.gl/Q4HmtD

 

18. Picnic by a Waterfall

There are over 180 waterfalls all over Malaysia and one of the most beautiful is Chamang Waterfalls. Located just 15 minutes drive from Bentong town, this near-pristine waterfall is surrounded by gigantic rainforest trees. The shady forest canopy makes it ideal for picnics with family and friends. There are also many large wading pools suitable for non-swimmers and children.

Nestled in the midst of Pahang’s rainforest is Chamang Waterfall

Nestled in the midst of Pahang’s rainforest is Chamang Waterfalls

If jungle trekking isn’t your cup of tea, this stunning natural waterfall is perfect for you. There are BBQ areas, food stalls, public toilets and bathrooms available here.

For more information:

  • waterfallsofmalaysia.com/d.php
  • gobentong.com/en/attraction/attraction/chamang-waterfall

 

19. Enjoy a Healing Dip in the Hot Springs

Hot springs are known for their healing and rejuvenation properties. One of Malaysia’s best kept secrets is the Felda Residence Hot Spring in Sungkai, Perak. Nestled amidst tranquil tropical forests and mountains, Felda Residence Hot Spring has a specially designed free flowing Hot Spring Swimming Pool and Therapeutic Park. The mineral-rich water flowing from the hot spring here is believed to help with ailments such as stiff joints, spinal problems and skin problems.

For more information:
feldatravel.com.my/felda-residence-hot-springs-perak

Felda Residence Hot Spring

Felda Residence Hot Spring

 

20. Volunteer at an Animal Sanctuary

There are many animal sanctuaries all over Malaysia that require volunteers on a regular basis. One of them is the Redang Island Marine Turtle Volunteer Program, the oldest and longest-running marine turtle volunteer program in Malaysia established by the Sea Turtle Research Unit of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (SEATRU in short).

As sea turtles face threats of extinction, there are several research and conservation initiatives in Malaysia that require volunteers to boost the sea turtle population.

Malaysia has several sea turtle research and conservation initiatives that require volunteers.

SEATRU began as a research initiative on leatherback turtles at Rantau Panjang. However, this has since developed into a multidisciplinary programme to study the sea turtles to enable better conservation efforts to be implemented to help restore the various turtle species to a stable population level.

For more information:

  • turtleconservationsociety.org.my/volunteer-programmes
  • seatru.umt.edu.my

 

Food

Malaysia is a food haven with diverse cuisines that reflect its multiethnic population. One of the best things about Malaysia is how food is available at all hours of the day. In fact, the sheer variety of food on offer has become somewhat of a joke that ‘makan‘ (eating) is Malaysia’s national favourite past time!

Street food is generally economical and flavourful, and each dish is a reflection of that particular ethnic group and location. A simple meal in the city from the street food stalls or coffee shops ranges from RM4 to RM15, depending on the type of food and location. Fast food chains offer burgers from RM5 onwards. Eating out at a restaurant starts from RM20 or RM30 per person, again depending on the location and type of food. Generally, Western food costs more than the local food fare. Food and drinks are also generally cheaper in smaller towns.

There are also many fine dining restaurants in the larger cities like Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Eateries such as these cost significantly more, starting from RM50 per person per meal without any alcoholic beverages. There are also many café-style dining options where a main course averages RM15 to RM20.

These are some of the must-try Malaysian favourites whenever you are in the country.

 

Nasi Lemak

This is a one-plate dish of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and screwpine leaves (daun pandan) served with spicy sambal, crunchy anchovies, roasted peanuts, boiled egg and raw cucumber. The sambal is usually the star of this beloved national dish. For a more substantial meal, nasi lemak can also be served with side dishes such as beef rendang, fried chicken, fried fish, sambal petai and acar (spicy pickles).

malaysiaaz013

 

Chicken Rice

This is another aromatic dish of rice cooked with ginger, garlic and shallots accompanied with either steamed or roasted chicken. A sweet garlicky chilli sauce is a must for dipping. Ipoh Chicken Rice is served with a side of blanched beansprouts drenched in soy sauce and sesame oil.

Melaka has its own variation of this popular dish where the rice is shaped into balls. The ‘Chicken Rice Ball’ is said to have been invented during the 15th Century when Chinese traders landed in Melaka, the main port for the Spice Route. To make it easier for the workers to eat, chicken rice was shaped into balls so that they would not need a spoon.

Chicken rice with steamed chicken

Chicken rice with steamed chicken

Chicken Rice Ball a must-try when visiting Melaka

Chicken Rice Balls

 

Roti Canai

This well-loved Indian flat bread is one of the most versatile foods in Malaysia. There are at least 10 different variants of roti canai, usually served with curry (chicken, fish or dhal) or sambal.

Plain Roti Canai with sambal, dhall curry and fish curry.

Plain Roti Canai with sambal, dhal and fish curry.

The most popular rotis are:

  • Roti Kosong: Plain roti canai
  • Roti Telur: Roti canai with an egg cooked into the roti
  • Roti Bawang: Roti canai with large onions
  • Roti Pisang: Roti canai with sliced bananas and sugar
  • Roti Telur Bawang: Roti canai with egg and large onions
  • Roti Cheese: Roti canai with cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • Roti Tisu: Paper-thin crisp roti canai sprinkled with sugar
  • Roti Planta: Roti canai cooked with margarine and sprinkled with sugar
  • Roti Sardin: Roti canai with a sardine and onion filling
  • Roti Banjir: Roti canai smothered in curry. It is sometimes served with sambal.
Crispy paper-thin Roti Tisu

Crispy paper-thin Roti Tisu

 

Satay

Similar to Japanese Yakitori, satay is skewered pieces of meat marinated in spices such as coriander, chilli, shallots, lemongrass and turmeric. These BBQ skewers are eaten with a mildly spicy peanut dip complemented with raw cucumber and onion. Ketupat (rice cake) is also served with satay.

malaysiaaz017

 

Char Kuay Teow

This is a popular dish of ribbon-like rice noodles fried with garlic, eggs and beansprouts, seasoned with dark and light soy sauce and chilli. Traditionally stir-fried over charcoal, versions of this favourite vary slightly from state to state. Penang Char Kuay Teow is the most famous and is served with large fresh prawns, Chinese sausages, chives, cockles and pork lard.

Traditionally fried over charcoal stove, this is a hot favourite that is available in spicy and non-spicy versions.

Traditionally fried over a charcoal stove, this is a favourite street food that is available in spicy and non-spicy versions.

 

Laksa

Laksa is essentially noodles served in a mildly spicy coconut gravy with condiments that vary from state to state but may include fish, chicken, prawns, omelette strips, onion, cucumber, pickled white radish, beansprouts, mint and coriander leaves. Penang Assam Laksa is the exception to this rule with its sour fish and tamarind-based soup. The type of noodles used also varies, from thin rice vermicelli to fatter rolls of rice noodles.

Nyonya Laksa garnished with Vietnamese Coriander (Daun Kesum or Laksa Leaf)

A must try is the Nyonya Laksa of Melaka garnished with Vietnamese Coriander (Daun Kesum or Laksa Leaf)

 

Ramly Burger

This iconic local burger is best known for its distinctive flavour and generous toppings of mayonnaise, chilli sauce, Maggi seasoning, cucumber, onion slices and shredded cabbage. Ramly Burger stalls are usually open at night to cater to the supper crowd.

Malaysia’s iconic Ramly Burger

Malaysia’s iconic Ramly Burger

 

Sambal Petai

Ranging from mild to super spicy, Sambal Petai is made from chillies, shallots, shrimp paste, tamarind juice and the star of the dish — petai or stink bean. Recognisable by its distinctive smell, petai can also be eaten raw while Sambal Petai is usually cooked with prawns or squid.

One of the most peculiar food in Asia. You either love it or hate petai.

Petai (stink bean) is one of the most peculiar Malaysian foods

 

Teh Tarik

Literally translated as “pulled tea”, this milky sweet tea is a favourite beverage amongst Malaysians. What makes it different from other teas is the froth that is produced by the technique used to cool the piping hot tea. The tea maker usually uses two large mugs to “pull the tea” by transferring the hot tea from one mug to the other.

A good Teh Tarik should be creamy, sweet with a nice frothy head.

A good Teh Tarik should be creamy and sweet with a nice frothy head

 The Teh Tarik’s froth is produced by this special “cooling” technique that involves pouring the tea from a height into another mug.

Teh Tarik’s froth is produced by this special “cooling” technique that involves pouring the tea from a height into another mug.

 

Cendol

This dessert is traditionally made from shaved ice, cendol (a green worm-like jelly made from rice flour and flavoured with the juice of pandan/screwpine leaves), coconut milk and topped with gula melaka (palm sugar) syrup. Modern versions may include other less-traditional toppings such as creamed corn, grass jelly, red beans or even vanilla ice cream.

Perfect for Malaysia’s hot weather.

Perfect for Malaysia’s hot weather.

 

Durian

Dubbed the “King of Fruits”, the durian is highly recognisable by its distinctive strong aroma that people either love or hate. With over 30 different species, this thorny fruit has a soft creamy texture and a taste that ranges from savoury-sweet to bitterish, depending on the species. Top of the range is the prized Musang King.

The durian’s strong aroma has always been a thorny issue for those who are not fans of this fruit.

The durian’s strong aroma has always been a thorny issue for those who are not fans of this fruit.

 

Jackfruit

Another Malaysian fruit with a distinctive aroma and flavour, the jackfruit’s flesh is firm and sweet. Called ‘nangka’ in Malay, ripe jackfruit can be eaten on its own or used in desserts. Unripe or ‘green’ jackfruit has a texture very similar to shredded chicken, which makes it an excellent ‘vegan meat’ for savoury dishes.

The jackfruit’s nut-like seed can also be used for preparing Malaysian dishes such as Lemak Biji Nangka, a mildly spicy dish cooked in coconut milk and local spices like lemongrass, turmeric, chilli and shallots.

For more mouthwatering Malaysian foods, click here.

Like the durian, jackfruit also has a distinctive aroma and is prohibited in many places like hotels, hospitals and airports.

Like the durian, the jackfruit also has a distinctive aroma and is prohibited in many places like hotels, hospitals and airports.

 

Attire

Located near the equator, Malaysia is generally hot and humid all year round. Thus it is advisable to dress in comfortable clothes that are not overly revealing as Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country. Appropriate attire is especially essential when visiting places of worship such as mosques, temples or churches. For ladies, this means no mini skirts, short shorts or skimpy tank tops while singlets are discouraged for men. When visiting places of worship, it would be a good idea for ladies to cover up with a sarong if one is wearing shorts or mini skirts.

 

Traditional Malay Attire

A Malay girl in Baju Kurung complete with tudung (head gear)

A Malay girl in Baju Kurung complete with tudung (head gear)

Baju kurung is the traditional attire for Malay ladies. It is a loose, long-sleeved tunic blouse worn over a long ankle-length skirt. Two popular styles are baju kurung cekak musang that has a standing collar and baju kurung teluk belanga with a round neckline.

Baju Kebarung, a spin-off of the baju kurung but with a more form-fitting top is also popular amongst Malay ladies. These days, many non-Malays also wear the baju kurung especially for official and government functions.

As stipulated in the Quran, adult females are to cover their hair. So it is common to see Muslim ladies wearing various head coverings such as the hijab, tudung, burqa or headscarf. These different styles of head covering are symbols of modesty and privacy in the presence of adult males who are not their immediate family.

Baju Kurung on the left and Baju Kebarung on the right

Baju Kurung on the left and Baju Kebarung on the right

The traditional Malay attire for men is the baju melayu, which is a loose shirt with long sleeves over matching pants complete with sampin (a sarong wrapped around the hips) and songkok (traditional headgear). The sampin can either be a matching songket (hand-woven silk or cotton fabric intricately pattern with gold or silver threads) or sarong. Like the baju kurung, there are two types of collar for the baju melayu i.e. cekak musang and teluk belanga.

Baju Melayu is worn usually with a songkok (head gear) and sampan. In this photo the model is wearing a traditional songket sampin. (Photo credit: 11 Street)

Baju melayu is usually worn with a songkok and sampin. The sampin in this photo is a traditional songket sampin. (Photo credit: 11 Street)

 

Traditional Chinese Attire

Traditional attire for Chinese women in Malaysia is the Cheongsam or Qipao

The cheongsam or qipao is the traditional attire for Chinese women in Malaysia

The traditional attire for Chinese women in Malaysia is the form-fitting cheongsam or qipao. It is traditionally made from rich silk or brocade but modern versions are also made from cotton, lace and satin. It is easily recognisable from its signature Mandarin collar and Chinese buttons.

In Malaysia, there are other variations of the cheongsam such as the length of the hem and sleeves, as well as the height and shape of the collar. Many come with slits to make walking easier and more comfortable. Cheongsam is a popular choice for Chinese brides as well as formal functions.

Another traditional attire for Chinese ladies is the samfu. The top is similar to the cheongsam with a Mandarin collar and Chinese buttons but is worn over matching loose pants instead. The samfu is popular amongst young Chinese girls especially during Chinese New Year.

Cotton Sam Foo such as these was one of the traditional attire for Malaysian Chinese ladies back in the 1950s. (Photo credit: Peggy Loh)

Cotton samfu were the traditional attire for Malaysian Chinese ladies back in the 1950s. (Photo credit: Peggy Loh)

The traditional attire for Chinese men in Malaysia is also called the samfu, with “sam” meaning shirt and “fu” meaning pants. Similar to the female samfu, it has a Mandarin collar and a front opening with Chinese buttons, worn over slacks or loose pants.

Traditional attire for Chinese men in Malaysia is also called Sam Foo

The traditional attire for Chinese men in Malaysia is also called samfu

 

Traditional Indian Attire

The colourful and elegant Indian saree (or sari) is the traditional clothing of choice for Indian ladies. The skirt, usually between 4.5 to 8 metres long, is worn over an inner skirt or petticoat. The entire length of the skirt is wound around the waist with the last portion draped over the shoulder. A form-fitting midriff-bearing blouse is worn with the saree. Colourful sarees are usually worn for formal functions such as weddings as well as for pujas at temples.

Interesting fact: It has been recorded that there are 80 ways to wear the saree!

Saree is usually worn for formal functions such as weddings as well as for pujas (prayers) at temples

The saree is usually worn for formal functions such as weddings as well as for pujas (prayers) at temples.

Another traditional Indian outfit is the salwar kameez which is a long tunic top worn over loose pants, with a long matching scarf to complete the outfit. Also known as the “Punjabi suit”, it is not uncommon to see Chinese and Malay ladies wearing the salwar kameez as it is comfortable and presentable.

It is not unusual to see Malay or Chinese ladies donning the Salwar Kameez in Malaysia

It is not unusual to see Malay or Chinese ladies donning the salwar kameez in Malaysia

Malaysian Indian men traditionally wear a long shirt that reaches the mid-thigh or knee called the kurta. It is normally worn during formal occasions such as weddings or Deepavali. A kurta typically has a Nehru collar, similar to the Mandarin collar.

The kurta is usually worn during formal occasions such as weddings or Diwali

The kurta is usually worn during formal occasions such as weddings or Deepavali

 

Traditional Baba Nyonya Attire

The Baba Nyonya or Straits Chinese have a unique culture that is a fusion of the Chinese and Malay traditions. The Nyonya (females) traditionally wear the baju kebaya which is made from voile-like cloth called kasa rubia, embroidered with pretty flowers, scalloped edges and animals such as goldfish, peacocks, butterflies or even dragons. This figure-hugging top is paired with a sarong, which is traditionally held up by a metal belt called tali pinggang. A set of three kerosang (brooches) is used to fasten and secure the outer sheer blouse.

The Baju Kebaya complete with kasot manek (beaded slippers). (Photo credit: Celestia Faith Chong)

Baju kebaya complete with kasot manek or beaded slippers. (Photo credit: Celestia Faith Chong)

The baju panjang is a long loose top worn over a sarong and is favoured by older ladies. An ornamented sanggol (tight bun/chignon), kerosang (brooches) and bimpo (handkerchief) complete the outfit. Footwear is usually a pair of handmade embroidered slippers.

Baju Panjang complete with handkerchief

Baju panjang complete with handkerchief

The Baba’s traditional costume is the same as the Chinese men’s samfu with a Mandarin collar and a front opening with Chinese buttons, worn with slacks or loose pants.

 

Traditional Kadazan-dusun Attire

Kadazan-dusun women traditionally wear the sinuangga, which is a form-fitting short blouse and the tapi, a long wrap skirt. Made from black velvet with gold trimmings, this costume is completed with a belt made of coins called himpogot and other gold jewellery such as earrings, bangles, brooches and necklaces. A traditional sinuangga has a double row of gold buttons down the front of the blouse.

Kadazan-dusun men are traditionally attired in the gaung, a long sleeved shirt made from black velvet with gold trimmings and the souva, a matching pair of trousers also made from black velvet. A siga or headgear completes the outfit.

Traditional Kadazan-dusun costume

Traditional Kadazan-dusun attire

 

Traditional Iban Attire

The traditional Iban outfit for ladies is the ngepan which consists of marik empang, a decorative outer garment stitched with beads and worn around the shoulders, and paired with a knee-length skirt called kain kebat, which is a traditional woven skirt or pua kumbu.

An Iban lady in traditional ngepan

An Iban lady dressed in the traditional ngepan

There are a few variations of the traditional Iban ngepan depending on geography but it is generally accessorised with silver headgear called sugu tinggi and silver jewellery such as

  • Lampit (silver belt)
  • Rawai (silver corset)
  • Tumpa pirak/bentuk (silver bangles)
  • Gelang kaki/gerunchung (silver anklets)
  • Buah pauh (silver purse)
  • Selampai (sash)
  • Tali ujan/mulung (silver necklace)
  • Sementing buchai/sengkiling (coin corset with dangling coins)

The Iban menfolk are traditionally attired in a loincloth originally made from barkcloth, called sirat. The sirat is 10 inches wide and about 10 to 12 feet long with embroidery or weaving at both ends of the cloth. The front of the loincloth hangs down to the knees, very much like an apron. The accompanying top is called kelambi, with or without sleeves. Accessories for Iban men include silver bangles, armbands, anklets and headgear decorated with hornbill feathers.

For more in-depth information on the traditional clothes of Malaysia, click here.

Traditional attire for the male Iban consists of kelambi (vest) and sirat (loincloth). This photo shows an Iban man performing the traditional dance called ngajat

The traditional attire for Iban men consists of the kelambi (vest) and sirat (loincloth). This photo shows an Iban man performing the traditional dance called ngajat

 

Art in Malaysia

There are many traditional art forms in Malaysia that are still being practised to this day. However, the number of performers has dwindled tremendously in recent years due to a lack of interest from the younger generation. With the influx of foreign cultures via cyberspace, it is no wonder that many Malaysian art forms are in danger of extinction.

 

Performing Arts

 

Wayang Kulit

A traditional Javanese art form, wayang kulit is still practised in Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis. This art of storytelling involves hand held puppets intricately crafted from animal skin. These two-dimensional puppets are held between a light source (traditionally an oil lamp) and a white semi-transparent cloth to produce shadows.

Seen here is the Tok Dalang behind the scenes

Seen here is the Tok Dalang behind the scenes

The puppet master or Tok Dalang narrates while skilfully manipulating the puppets to tell a story, usually a localised version of the Hindu epics Ramayana or Mahabharata. A traditional Gamelan ensemble provides music for the wayang kulit performance that can last several hours.

 

Dikir Barat

Originally from Java, dikir barat is a traditional musical art form that entails group singing accompanied by hand clapping and other rhythmic body movements, very much like Western choral singing. During the performance, Tok Juara, the person in charge of the group’s training will lead the group in the first segment that has more complex musical arrangements and may involve awok-awok or chorus singing.

Lively Dikir Barat is a traditional performing arts where percussion instrumental accompaniment is optional as hand clapping and rhythmic body movements provide the tempo and energy to the performance

Hand clapping and rhythmic body movements provide the tempo and energy for a lively Dikir Barat performance

The creative person or tukang karat usually includes current issues into the routine as well as pantun (Malay poetry), usually clever verses that are humorous or even sarcastic.

Musical accompaniment is optional as the hand clapping and rhythmic body movements provide the tempo and energy for a lively performance. During dikir barat competitions, two competing groups will be on stage at the same time.

 

Kuda Kepang

Popular in Johor, this traditional dance of Javanese origins depicts a group of horsemen. Dancers mount mock horses made of bamboo, cloth, colourful paint, sequins and beads. Prior to the performance, a bomoh or traditional medicine doctor performs rituals to appease spirits, as the mock horses are believed to harbour spirits.

Spellbinding Kuda Kepang performed during George Town Festival

The Kuda Kepang is performed during the George Town Festival

Traditional instruments such as gongs, angklung and drums form part of the musical ensemble that provides the music accompaniment. The lead dancer, Danyang, uses a whip to direct the other dancers. Commonly performed during special events such as a boy’s rite of passage ceremony (berkhatan or circumcision), kuda kepang dancers, usually between two to eight in number, re-enact historical battles during the performance.

During kuda kepang performances, spirit possession is said to take place. The possessed dancer displays out of the ordinary abilities such as eating glass and when this happens, the performance ends. It is believed that the dancer is possessed for the purpose of delivering prophecies.

 

Mak Yong

Another art form popular in Kelantan is mak yong, containing elements of opera, dance, drama and comedy. Considered to be the most authentic representation of the Malay performing arts, a typical mak yong cast has 16 performers – a pak yong as lead dancer (who dresses as a king), a queen as second lead, followed by palace girls and jesters. A mak yong orchestra’s main instruments are the spiked lute, drum (gendang) and a pair of gongs. It may also include the flute (serunai), keduk drums, and small cymbals (kesi).

Mak Yong Dewa Muda

Mak Yong Dewa Muda

This drama-dance pays respects to the spirits as a show of gratitude for a bountiful harvest or to cure villagers of their ailments. Prior to each performance, semah kampong is carried out to pay respects to the spirits with an offering.

Mak yong presents stories dating back to the Srivijaya Empire in the 7th century, and the times of Kelantan’s legendary queen, Che Siti Wan Kembang whose reign was believed to be between the 14th and 16th centuries. Stories are presented in a series of three-hour-long segments, spanning over several nights. This age-old cultural performance also has rituals connected to propitiation and healing.

 

Textiles

 

Batik

One of the most recognisable fabrics in the world, batik is the Malay word for drops or dots. It is made using a resist technique where an area of cloth is covered with molten wax, a dye-resistant substance, to prevent colour absorption. The result is a colourful, contrasting design. Commonly used motifs include flowers, leaves and butterflies as Islam forbids the use of motifs with animals and humans. Modern Malaysian batik includes geometric designs as well.

Creation of batik

Creation of batik

Besides drawing by hand, batik can also be produced by block printing. This utilises a prefabricated metal block dipped into molten wax and stamped repetitively onto silk or cotton cloth. Highly versatile, batik can be used as formal attire, casual beachwear or as a decorative item.

  • Hand drawn batik: penangbatik.com.my/batik_handdrawn.html
  • Block printed batik: penangbatik.com.my/batik_blockprint.html

 

Songket

Songket, a rich and luxurious brocade, has a long-standing and close relationship with the royal Malay court to this day. Traditionally worn by Malay royalty and warriors to denote nobility, songket weaving originated from the Cambodia-Siam region and arrived in Kelantan and Terengganu as early as the 16th century. Songket weaving still continues to this day as a cottage industry in Kelantan and Terengganu.

Art of Songket weaving

The art of Songket weaving

Weavers employ traditional methods to produce this exquisite textile such as the supplementary weft-weaving technique where gold or metallic threads are inserted between silk or cotton weft (latitudinal) threads. The shimmering metallic gold and silver thread makes the floral and geometric motifs stand out against the dark background.

Commonly worn for special occasions such as weddings, Hari Raya and official functions, this “King of Malaysian Textile” is also used as works of art decorating hotels, offices and homes.

 

Pua Kumbu

Weaving Pua Kumbu takes between six months to a year

Pua Kumbu weaving takes between six months to a year

This handwoven ceremonial cloth is regarded as a sacred object by the Ibans of Sarawak and is used during important events such as births, marriages, funerals and healing rituals. Made from homespun cotton, there are taboos to be observed during the weaving process.

Pua kumbu is coloured with natural dyes made from plants harvested from the rainforest. The motifs are inspired by nature, dreams and the weaver’s own beliefs. Iban womenfolk undertake pua kumbu weaving and the techniques and designs are passed from mother to daughter orally and through hands-on practice.

 

Tekat

Tekat is the traditional art of embroidery. Also known as bersuji, this art form is closely related to the Malacca Sultanate as tekat was used to decorate not only their royal attire and ceremonial items but also royal furnishings such as cushion covers, bedspreads and fans.

The art of tekat

The art of tekat

Tekat involves a special embroidery technique using gold or silver threads on a base of velvet. As a result, the embroidered motif has a shimmering three-dimensional effect. Common motifs for tekat are plants, leaves and flowers due to religious restrictions according to the Quran.

 

Other Art Forms

 

Silat

There are over 1000 types of silat in Malaysia

There are over 1000 types of silat in Malaysia

Based on the art of war, silat is one of the deadliest martial arts in the world as it focuses solely on violence, with over 1000 types of silat in Malaysia alone. Silat was traditionally a sport of the royalty as it was a symbol of their superiority. Weapons such as the keris (Malay dagger), axe, spear and sword are commonly used in this Malay martial art.

The standard attire for silat practitioners, both male and female, are:

  1. Baju Melayu – A loose round collared shirt worn over long pants.
  2. Tengkolok and tanjak – Malay head gear traditionally made from songket.
  3. Sampin – Traditionally made from batik and worn around the waist.
  4. Bengkung – A cloth belt to secure the sampin.

Silat is also employed in performing arts such as kuda kepang and mak yong, which is evident from the graceful dance moves.

 

Wau Bulan

Wau bulan is one of Malaysia’s most recognisable national symbols. “Wau” is the Malay word for kite and “bulan” means moon, denoting the shape of the lower half of the kite. The wau bulan is bigger than any other Malaysian kite. A typical wau bulan is 2.5 metres wide and 3.5 metres long. The frame is made from bamboo and the body is decorated with intricate patterns, usually with floral and leaf motifs.

The making of Wau Bulan, touted to be the world’s most beautiful kite.

The Wau Bulan is touted to be the world’s most beautiful kite.

 

When to Visit

As the West and East Coasts of Malaysia experience their rainy seasons at alternate times of the year, visitors to this tropical paradise can enjoy year-round visits to beautiful beaches, outdoor parks, forest reserves, marine parks and other eco-tourism attractions.

With generally good weather all year round, visitors would be able to visit national parks such as Taman Negara, home to the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia.

With generally good weather all year round, visitors can to visit national parks such as Taman Negara, home to the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia.

Other good times to visit are during major Malaysian festivals, where tourists can experience the sights, sounds and essence of Malaysian culture, tradition and sample delicacies that are unique to each event. Some festivals may be religious or cultural in nature, thus event dates may vary from year to year if they are based on the lunar or Islamic calendar. Please visit the section on major festivals for more information.

malaysiaaz011

 

Visas

The Malaysian Government issues three (3) types of visas to foreign nationals:


1. Single Entry Visa
This is issued to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia mainly for a social visit. It is normally valid for a single entry and for a period of three (3) months from the date of issue.


2. Multiple Entry Visa
This is issued to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia mainly for business or government-to-government matters. It is normally valid for a period of between three (3) months to twelve (12) months from the date of issue.

Citizens of India and the People’s Republic of China who wish to enter Malaysia for the purpose of a Social Visit are eligible to apply for the Multiple Entry Visa. The validity of the Multiple Entry Visa is one (1) year. Each entry is for 30 days only and the extension of stay is not allowed. Conditions for the Multiple Entry Visa are:

  • The applicant must show proof of sufficient funds for staying in Malaysia
  • The applicant must possess a valid and confirmed return ticket
  • Tour groups are not eligible to apply for the Multiple Entry Visa.
  • The Multiple Entry Visa costs RM100.00 for Indian Citizens and RM30.00 for citizens of the People’s Republic of China.


3. Transit Visa
This is issued to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia on transit to other countries. Foreign nationals on transit without leaving the airport premises and who continue their journey to the next destination with the same flight do not require a transit visa.

 

Getting To Malaysia

Depending on the originating country, there are four modes of transportation to get to Malaysia – by air, sea, rail and road.

 

By Air

Forest in the airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KLIA 1.

The garden in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KLIA 1.

There are eight international airports in Malaysia with Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) being the largest and busiest. These airports act as transit hubs for both international and domestic air travel.

  1. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Kuala Lumpur)
  2. Penang International Airport (Penang)
  3. Langkawi International Airport (Kedah)
  4. Melaka International Airport (Melaka)
  5. Senai International Airport (Johor)
  6. Subang International Airport (Selangor)
  7. Kota Kinabalu International Airport (Sabah)
  8. Kuching International Airport (Sarawak)

Malaysia’s national carrier Malaysia Airlines and no-frills airline Air Asia provide both domestic and international air travel. Other international airlines that fly to Malaysia include Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Qantas, Air India, Qatar Airways and many others.

Useful websites

  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport: klia.com.my
  • Malaysia Airlines: malaysiaairlines.com
  • Air Asia: airasia.com
  • Singapore Airlines: singaporeair.com

 

By Sea

Malaysia is accessible by sea via these ports:

  • Port Klang
  • Pangkor Island
  • Penang Island
  • Langkawi Island
  • Melaka
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Sandakan

The largest port in Malaysia is Port Klang, which has an international cruise terminal, a regional passenger ferry terminal and a public passenger ferry terminal.

An international cruise ship docking at Boustead Cruise Centre (BCC)

An international cruise ship docking at Boustead Cruise Centre (BCC)

Boustead Cruise Centre (BCC) is the international cruise terminal in Port Klang frequently used by international cruise lines including Cunard Lines, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines and Star Cruises amongst others. The regional passenger ferry terminal at Port Klang, Asa Niaga Harbour City (ANHC) Terminal has high speed passenger ferries plying between Port Klang and the ports of Dumai and Tanjung Balai in Sumatra, Indonesia.

More information on Port Klang: pka.gov.my

 

By Train

KTM Intercity train service that links all the major towns and cities in West Malaysia from Thailand right to Singapore

The KTM Intercity train service links all major towns and cities in West Malaysia from Thailand right to Singapore

Trains run between major towns and cities in Peninsula Malaysia, provided by KTM Intercity with most services operating from Kuala Lumpur Sentral. The train service also connects to Thailand and Singapore.

More information on KTM Intercity: ktmb.com.my

 

By Road

Visitors from Thailand can enter Malaysia via these entry points:

  • Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah – By road
  • Padang Besar, Perlis – By train and road
  • Pengkalan Hulu, Perak – By road
  • Bukit Bunga, Kelantan – By road
  • Rantau Panjang, Kelantan – By train and road
Singapore-Johor Causeway that links Malaysia to Singapore

The Singapore-Johor Causeway that links Malaysia and Singapore

Visitors from Singapore travelling by road can opt for the Johor-Singapore Causeway or the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link (Tuas Second Link). Visitors from Kalimantan in Borneo can travel via road to East Malaysia.

 

Getting Around Malaysia

 

By Car

The North-South Expressway connects major cities and town in the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Click on image to enlarge.

The North-South Expressway connects major cities and towns on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Click on image to enlarge.

Interstate travelling in Peninsula Malaysia is convenient with many highways connecting the major towns and cities. Starting from Bukit Kayu Hitam on the Thai border in the north right to Johor Bahru at the southern tip of Malaysia, the North-South Expressway passes through Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor. Those travelling to the East Coast can use the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway. In East Malaysia, the Pan-Borneo Highway connects Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia, making travel possible by car, taxi or bus. The Kalimantan portion of this highway is called the Trans-Kalimantan Highway.

Adventurous travellers who prefer to experience Malaysia by self-driving can choose from many car rental options. Getting around the cities is also convenient as there are metered taxis and private cars for hire such as Uber and Grab.

Useful Tips:

  • Malaysians drive on the left and seat belts are mandatory.
  • Malaysian road signs can be somewhat confusing as many road names are in Malay.
  • The speed limit is 110 km/hour on the expressway and 90 km/hour on trunk roads.
  • Have sufficient cash at hand or preload your Touch n’ Go card (value-stored card issued by toll concessionaires) to ensure you can pay the toll fare.

Useful Links:

  • Touch n’ Go: touchngo.com.my
  • Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia (Malaysian Highway Authority): llm.gov.my
  • Car Rental: easyrentcars.com
  • Car Rental: airportrentals.com
  • Car Rental: drive.my
  • Taxi Malaysia Sdn Bhd: ajtaxi.my
  • Sunlight Taxi: sunlighttaxi.com
  • Airport Limo: airportlimo.my
  • Uber: uber.com/en-MY
  • Grab: grab.com/my

 

By Bus

Ticketing counter at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS)

Ticketing counter at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS)

One of the most affordable methods of interstate travel in Peninsula Malaysia is by express bus. It is also a relaxing way to travel as the major highways and trunk roads pass through many scenic towns and rustic villages.

Those heading south to Melaka, Johor and Singapore should catch their bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) located at Bandar Tasik Selatan. With the closure of Pudu Sentral, northbound buses to places like Cameron Highlands and Penang also depart from TBS at the time of writing.

The biggest public bus transportation operator in Malaysia is Konsortium Transnasional Berhad. Its leading brands, Nice, Plus Liner, Transnational, City Liner and KL City Airport, provide the most extensive coverage throughout Peninsula Malaysia as well as Singapore.

In Sabah, long distance or express buses are an economical way to get around especially to towns such as Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Keningau. The most important long distance bus terminal is Inanam Bus Terminal. Padang Merdeka Bus Terminal has bus services that go to the west coast and interior of Sabah such as Kundasang, Ranau, Tuaran, Kota Belud, Kudat, Tenom and Tambunan. Those who would like to take a bus to Sipitang, Sarawak (Lawas and Miri) and Brunei can catch a bus from City Park Bus Terminal.

Bus Asia offers daily express bus services to major cities and towns in Brunei and Sarawak such as Kuching, Serian, Sibu, Sarikei, Mukah, Limbang, Bintulu, Miri, Lawas and Pontianak. The Jalan Masjid bus terminal in Kuching provides local bus services within the city. Kuching Sentral Bus Terminal provides intercity bus services to places like Limbang, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri among others.

Useful Links:

  • eticketing.my
  • catchthatbus.com
  • expressbusmalaysia.com
  • mysabah.com/wordpress/sabah-buses
  • busonlineticket.com/bus/bus-asia-and-biaramas-express

 

By Train

ERL – KLIA Express is the fastest way to get to KLIA

The ERL – KLIA Express is the fastest way to get to KLIA

Trains run on various routes within Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, the surrounding suburban areas as well as interstate services. Available train services include:

  • KTM Komuter that caters to commuters in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding suburban areas.
  • Rapid KL, a network of buses and trains which is the main public transportation service provider in the Klang Valley. Feeder buses serve the areas surrounding the stations.
  • The ERL – KLIA Express is the train service to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). This direct train from Stesen Sentral in the city centre takes a mere 28 minutes and is the fastest way to get to KLIA.
  • The ERL – KLIA Transit is a transit train to KLIA with two stops in between – Putrajaya and Salak Tinggi.

Useful Links:

  • KTM Komuter: ktmb.com.my
  • Rapid KL: myrapid.com.my
  • ERL – KLIA Express: kliaekspres.com
  • ERL – KLIA Transit: kliaekspres.com
  • Stesen Sentral: klsentral.com.my

 

By Air

Many Malaysian cities and towns are accessible via domestic air travel with Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, FireFly and Malindo Air.

Useful Links:

  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport: klia.com.my
  • Malaysia Airlines: malaysiaairlines.com
  • Air Asia: airasia.com
  • Malindo Air: malindoair.com
  • Fireflyz: fireflyz.com.my

 

By Sea

There are no boat or ferry services connecting Peninsula Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak. However, boats and ferries connect the mainland to offshore islands such as Penang, Langkawi, Pangkor, Redang, Sipadan and Sibu.

 

Accommodation

Malaysia offers many accommodation choices catering to different budgets and needs. There are many international hotel chains to choose from in the bigger cities including Hilton, Sheraton, Intercontinental and JW Marriot. Prices for budget accommodation and homestays start as low as RM35 per night in smaller towns and RM100 in cities while resort-style hotels cost more, starting from RM1,500 per night.

Below is a list of hotels by category, shortlisted based on travellers’ reviews and popularity. We recommend that you do further research to find one that fits your budget and requirements.

Boutique Hotels

  • Chulia Mansion, Penang (chuliamansion.com)
  • Gingerflower Boutique Hotel, Melaka (gingerflowerboutiquehotel.com)
  • The Ranee Boutique Suites, Sarawak (theranee.com)
  • The Danna Langkawi, Kedah (thedanna.com)
Pre-war houses in Melaka turned unique accommodation like the Gingerflower Boutique Hotel.

Pre-war houses in Melaka have been transformed into unique hotels like the Gingerflower Boutique Hotel

Budget Hotels

  • Hotel Sixty3, Sabah (hotelsixty3.com)
  • Citin Seacare Hotel Pudu, Kuala Lumpur (citinpudu.com)
  • Bayview Beach Resort, Penang (bbr.bayviewhotels.com)
  • Geo Hotel, Kuala Lumpur (geohotelkl.com)

Business Hotels

  • Seri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur (seripacifichotel.com)
  • Nexus Business Suite Hotel, Selangor (nexusbusinesssuite.com)
  • G Hotel Kelawai, Penang (ghotelkelawai.com.my)
  • Hatten Hotel, Melaka (hattenhotel.com)

Theme Park Hotels

  • Resorts World Genting, Pahang (rwgenting.com)
  • Legoland Malaysia Resort, Johor (legoland.com.my)
  • Sunway Pyramid Hotel, Selangor (sunwayhotels.com/sunwayresorthotelspa/sunway-pyramid-hotel)
  • A Famosa Resort, Melaka (afamosa.com)

Beach Resorts

  • Golden Sands Resort, Penang (shangri-la.com/penang/goldensandsresort)
  • Casa Del Mar Langkawi, Kedah (casadelmar-langkawi.com)
  • Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Sabah (shangri-la.com/kotakinabalu/tanjungaruresort)
  • Tanjong Jara Resort, Terengganu (tanjongjararesort.com)

Eco Resorts

  • Sepilok Jungle Resort, Sabah (sepilokjungleresort.com)
  • Dusuntara Jungle Retreat, Selangor (dusuntarajungleretreat.com)
  • Sekeping Serendah, Selangor (sekeping.com/serendah)
  • Belum Eco Resort, Perak (belumecoresort.com.my)

Hill Resorts

  • Colmar Tropicale, Pahang (colmartropicale.com.my)
  • Cherengin Hills Convention and Spa Resort, Pahang (cherenginhills.com)
  • Cameron Highlands Resort, Pahang (cameronhighlandsresort.com)
  • The Sticks, Selangor (thesticks.my)

Spa Resorts

  • The Chateau Spa & Organic Wellness Resort, Pahang (thechateau.com.my)
  • Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa, Selangor (sunwayhotels.com/sunwayresorthotelspa)
  • Philea Resort and Spa, Melaka (phileahotel.com.my)
  • The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Perak (thebanjaran.com)
The ideal spa resort (Photo credit: Tanjong Jara Resort)

The ideal spa resort (Photo credit: Tanjong Jara Resort)

Golf Resorts

  • Selesa Hillhomes and Golf Resort, Pahang (selesa.com.my)
  • The Saujana, Selangor (shr.my)
  • Berjaya Tioman Resort, Pahang (berjayahotel.com/tioman)
  • The Datai Golf Hotel, Kedah (elsclubmalaysia.com)

Island Resorts

  • The Andaman, Kedah (theandaman.com)
  • Pangkor Laut Resort, Perak (pangkorlautresort.com)
  • Rawa Island Resort, Johor (rawaislandresort.com)
  • Gaya Island Resort, Sabah (gayaislandresort.com)

Serviced Apartments

  • Parkroyal Serviced Suites, Kuala Lumpur (parkroyalhotels.com/en/serviced-suites/malaysia/kuala-lumpur.html)
  • Fraser Residence, Kuala Lumpur (klcc-kualalumpur.frasershospitality.com)
  • Jetty Suites, Melaka (jettysuites.com)
  • Citidine DPulze Cyberjaya, Selangor (citadines.com)
A serviced apartment in Kuala Lumpur (Photo courtesy of Fraser Residence)

A serviced apartment in Kuala Lumpur (Photo credit: Fraser Residence)

Homestays

  • Home Away (homeaway.com.my)
  • Homestay (homestay.com/malaysia)
  • Homestay In Penang (homestayinpenang.com)
  • Oriental Heritage House, Kuala Lumpur (airbnb.com/rooms/10762239)

More hotels in Malaysia: malaysia.travel/en/fr/resources/where-to-stay

A typical homestay at a house that comes with kitchen facilities

A typical homestay includes kitchen facilities

 

Etiquette

As Malaysia is a fairly conservative country, it is recommended that visitors observe basic etiquette and niceties, and learn the local customs as much as possible.

 

DOs

  • Do remove your shoes before entering a Malaysian home or place of worship like a mosque or temple.
  • Do use your right hand when receiving a gift or item from someone.
  • Do shake hands as a gesture of greeting but men should avoid doing so with a Muslim woman. Likewise, women should avoid shaking hands with Muslim men.
  • Do dress decently when visiting places of worship and also government departments. This means no hot pants, mini skirts or skimpy tops.
  • Do call prior to visiting a Malaysian home.
  • Do seek permission before taking photographs at places of worship.
  • Do bring a gift when one is invited to a Malaysian home for a meal. See below for tips on gifting.

 

DON’Ts

  • Don’t kiss or hug excessively in public as public displays of affection are generally frowned upon.
  • Don’t sunbathe topless.
  • Don’t offer alcohol to Muslims.
  • Don’t get involved in drugs as drug trafficking carries the death penalty.

 

Gifting Tips

Flowers in happy colours are generally a good gift. Photo credit: Kechara Blooms

Flowers in happy colours are generally a good gift. Photo credit: Kechara Blooms

 

Gift Giving to Malays

  • If invited to someone’s home for dinner, bring the hostess pastries or good quality chocolates.
  • Never give alcohol.
  • Never give toy dogs or pigs to children.
  • Never give anything made of pigskin.
  • Avoid white gift wrap as it symbolises death and mourning.
  • Avoid yellow gift wrap as it is the colour of royalty.
  • If you give food, it must be “halal” (meaning permissible for Muslims).
  • Offer gifts with the right hand only or with both hands if the item is large.
  • Gifts are generally not opened when received.

 

Gift Giving to Chinese

  • If invited to someone’s home, bring a small gift of sweets, fruit or cakes, saying that it is for the children.
  • A gift is traditionally refused before it is accepted to demonstrate that the recipient is not anticipating it or greedy.
  • Never give scissors, knives or other cutting utensils as they indicate a desire to sever the relationship.
  • Never give clocks or watches as they represent death or the end of something.
  • By tradition, flowers are not good gifts as they are generally given to the sick and are used at funerals. However, there has been a shift in attitudes due to western influence; flowers are now widely used at events, ceremonies, dinners and may be a suitable gift for a female recipient on a formal occasion.
  • Do not wrap gifts in mourning colours – white, blue or black.
  • Wrap gifts in happy colours – red, pink or yellow.
  • Elaborate gift-wrapping is imperative.
  • Never wrap a gift for a baby or decorate the gift in any way with a stork, as these birds are believed to be harbingers of death.
  • It is best to give gifts in even numbers since odd numbers are unlucky. Try to avoid the number 4 which is phonetically similar to the word for death.
  • Gifts are generally not opened when received.

 

Gift Giving to Indians

  • When giving flowers, avoid frangipanis as they are used in funeral wreaths.
  • Money should be given in odd numbers.
  • Offer gifts with the right hand only or with both hands if the item is large.
  • Do not wrap gifts in white or black colours.
  • Do wrap gifts in red, yellow or green paper (or other bright colours) as these are believed to bring good fortune.
  • Do not gift leather products to a Hindu. Hindus consider cows to be sacred and do not consume beef for religious reasons. Some Chinese also follow this tradition.
  • Do not give alcohol unless you are certain the recipient drinks.
  • Gifts are generally not opened when received.

 

References:

  • http://www.mountkinabalu.com/
  • http://thingsasian.com/story/six-regions-malaysia
  • https://www.thestar.com.my/travel/malaysia/2012/11/12/festivals-and-celebrations-in-malaysia/
  • https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.phpr=column/ctheme&menu_id=L0pheU43NWJwRWVSZklWdzQ4TlhUUT09&bul_id=OWlxdEVoYlJCS0hUZzJyRUcvZEYxZz09
  • https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/my.html
  • http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/10/22/malaysia.country.profile/index.html
  • https://www.hw.ac.uk/documents/HWU_Malaysia_Cultural_awareness_document_190315(1).pdf
  • http://www.mountkinabalu.com/
  • http://thingsasian.com/story/six-regions-malaysia
  • https://www.thestar.com.my/travel/malaysia/2012/11/12/festivals-and-celebrations-in-malaysia/
  • https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.php?r=column/ctheme&menu_id=L0pheU43NWJwRWVSZklWdzQ4TlhUUT09&bul_id=OWlxdEVoYlJCS0hUZzJyRUcvZEYxZz09
  • https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/my.html
  • http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/10/22/malaysia.country.profile/index.html
  • http://www.sabrizain.org/malaya/early.htm
  • http://www.klsentral.com.my/

 

For more interesting information:

 

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Sharon Ong
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This former Wesak Day Buddhist’s idea of spirituality came in the form of Yoda in Star Wars. Fortunately, she met an awesome spiritual teacher, H.E. the 25th Rinpoche, who is the catalyst and steady guide in her current spiritual path.
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13 Responses to Malaysia A-Z: Everything You Need To Know

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  1. Blanche on Jul 23, 2019 at 6:56 pm

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  2. mini daylight on Jul 22, 2019 at 10:58 pm

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  3. Jacquie on Jul 16, 2019 at 7:56 pm

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  4. padre josh on Jul 13, 2019 at 8:29 am

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  5. Joy Kam on Jul 26, 2018 at 5:52 am

    Listening to the chanting of sacred words, melodies, mantras, sutras and prayers has a very powerful healing effect on our outer and inner environments. It clears the chakras, spiritual toxins, the paths where our ‘chi’ travels within our bodies for health as well as for clearing the mind. It is soothing and relaxing but at the same time invigorates us with positive energy. The sacred sounds invite positive beings to inhabit our environment, expels negative beings and brings the sound of growth to the land, animals, water and plants. Sacred chants bless all living beings on our land as well as inanimate objects. Do download and play while in traffic to relax, when you are about to sleep, during meditation, during stress or just anytime. Great to play for animals and children. Share with friends the blessing of a full Dorje Shugden puja performed at Kechara Forest Retreat by our puja department for the benefit of others. Tsem Rinpoche

    Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbzgskLKxT8&t=5821s

  6. Anne Ong on May 22, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    This is a very interesting and informative article about Malaysia. Especially, 10. Phra Buddha Bharameedharm Chamruslok Temple (Wat Machimmaran), Kelantan, Sambal Petai, 17. Crystal Mosque, Terengganu,Durian,12. Merapoh Caves, Pahang. 13. Kechara Forest Retreat, Pahang. Thank you very much Rinpoche and Sharon for this great article. Great job on this write up!????

  7. Ulrich on May 6, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Your style is unique in comparison to other people I have read stiff from.
    Thank you forr posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll juist bolk mark this page.

  8. Liang Jing on Apr 15, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    I feel very lucky to live in Malaysia, a country with multiple races living harmoniously. Malaysia have many tourist hotspot, delicious foods, festival and also cultures. Other than that, Malaysia have also the world largest Dorje Shugden statue in Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong, Pahang.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.>-<

  9. cc on Apr 8, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Sharon,

    Thank you for sharing.
    Malaysia is a great place with multiracial, culture, full of fusion food that you couldn’t find anywhere else.

    Not to forget the world largest Dorje Shudgen . We are indeed fortunate!

  10. Lin Mun on Apr 7, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Sharon for sharing this article. When reading the history portion , it just reminds me of what I learned in school which I have almost forgotten. This articles give us a very good understanding about Malaysia. I for sure have not explored every state in Malaysia which is so rich in history and culture. Malaysia is so unique with the great mix of races which brings in so many different types of belief, arts, cultures, language and foods. I just hope that people in the country will continue to live happily, peacefully and harmoniously together.

  11. Samfoonheei on Apr 4, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Malaysia is truly a beautiful country, consisting of two regions separated by the South China Sea. Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious federation of 13 states and three federal territories. It’s known for its beaches, rainforests and multi nationality of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultural influences. Malaysia has a colourful history and rich heritage. Malaysia has comes a long way since the 11 centuries, with Dutch, British colonization and Japanese occupation s till today.
    The country is benefiting from a growth in manufacturing, and is a major tourist destination, with many paradise awaits for locals and foreigner to explore. Enchanting islands which is an ideal life getaway where one could swim, snorkel, dive in clear crystal waters. One could even explore the incredible diversity of marine life in some of the natural wonders of Malaysia. Each of the 13 states has plenty to offer. An example in Penang the Peranakan heritage,with thousands of Peranakan artefacts ,antiques and the 19th century showcases of Peranakan architecture and traditional interior. While in Melaka the famous Jonker Street and Dutch Square In Pahang the Genting Highland Resort and Kechara Forest Retreat home to the world’s largest statue of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden. Other than places of interests ,Malaysia food is one of the most unique cuisines in the world with many cultural influences.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Sharon Ong for this interesting details sharing.

  12. Pastor Shin Tan on Apr 4, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Last Saturday, at an event marking 60 years of Tibetans being recipients of Indian kindness, Lobsang Sangay mentioned that the exiled Tibetans should strengthen their efforts to make the Dalai Lama’s return to his Potala Palace a reality.

    Representing the Indian government, Ram Madhav, a leader in the governing Bharatiya Janata party, echoed Sangay’s statement with hope that the Dalai Lama will be able to “return to your homeland” through peaceful and democratic means.

    This event was originally planned to be held in Delhi but it was cancelled and relocated to Dharamsala. At the same time, Indian officials were directed by their Foreign Secretary to avoid events hosted by the Tibetan leadership, since they coincided with a “sensitive time” for Delhi’s relations with Beijing. India’s volte-face approach in shunning the Tibetans, with the unprecedented cancellation of many key Tibetan events, is now being viewed as a clear sign that India is no longer willing to be collateral damage in the Tibetan quest to agitate China over the so-called Tibetan cause.

    With mounting pressure from India to not hurt their relations with China, the tone of the message this time around seems to be that of a plea with only one goal in mind: for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet and reunite with Tibetans inside Tibet. Could it be that after 60 years, the Tibetan leadership has finally realised their fight against China is a futile one, and they should start looking at more achievable goals? May the aspirations of millions of Tibetans to see the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet be fulfilled and in the words of Madhav, that ” it will not take that long for you (Tibetans) to be back home.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/01/pm-in-exile-urges-tibetans-to-make-dalai-lamas-return-a-reality

  13. Datuk May on Apr 3, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    The tag line advertising Malaysia to foreigners was ‘MALAYSIA! TRULY ASIA”. I had always thought it to be a lame definition. Reading all the diversity in Malaysia and the many interesting things one can do in Malaysia, seem to make sense that Malaysia is truly Asia.

    Personally I have not explored much of my country except the days when I was actively working from state to state, but then when you are working you never really enjoy the beauty of a place.

    One thing that most of us Malaysians would have experienced is the variety of food. That is absolutely beyond what any other countries can offer. The tastes are so diverse and different. Many Chinese delicacies are home grown.

    Like the “YEE SANG” during Chinese Lunar New Year Season originated in Malaysia as I have tried to order it in Hongkong and China and it does not exist.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Sharon for this beautiful insight to our country.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 3. 2020 03:19 PM
    Reading this article it gave a clear pictures of how many animals been slaughtered for human’s menu. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our environment. When we become more mindful of what we have on our menu every day, that mindfulness will seep into everything we do. Many people choose a vegetarian diet out of concern, to stay healthy, saving animals and environment as well.
    What is important , give the animals a chance, respect them and to do harm them. May more people realized how many thousands or millions of animals be saved if they go on being a vegetarian.
    Thank you Rinpoche for bringing awareness with this article..

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/amazing-survey.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 3. 2020 03:17 PM
    Our Lama Tsem Rinpoche was a gift to us and the Tibetan Buddhism world who just keeps on giving , teaching Dharma and cares more than himself. Rinpoche was definitely one Lama that gives much more than another one else. Well known for his compassion, Rinpoche had guild rather train his students from day one where they are today. Rinpoche had observed , on the lookout to assist and encourage anyone of us and friends. Rinpoche had used the ‘new news’ an exercise to develop greater awareness of people and situations around. Wonderful way , to instill the positive qualities of compassion and awareness in us. Reading this post , I learn something new.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-what-is-the-new-news
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 3. 2020 03:15 PM
    Having a Dorje Shugden shop at Petaling street, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia will definitely benefits more and more local people as well as foreigners especially the tourist from across the globe. Many people will get to know and understand the Powerful Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden of our time. Many people who see the protector or passing by will be blessed as it is located at the famous tourist spot of China town. More people are connected to Dorje Shugden and will have the seeds planted into their mind. Rejoice.
    This is a best gift for our Lama Tsem Rinpoche on his birthday.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/exciting-dorje-shugden-store-in-petaling-street-malaysia.html
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 10:10 PM
    This is probably the best I’ve ever seen, marvelous creation, very realist with brilliant idea. I like the idea of Julian Beever, working in open air with public attraction. This job definitely takes a lot of patience and hats off to this extraordinary creativity.

    Thank you for the wonderful sharing of a talented artist and his amazing art work.
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 04:16 PM
    With our integrity intact, life is less stressful and far less complicated. This is not applying in secular but also in the spiritual practice. If someone who does not have integrity will surely not earn respects from his peers.
    Integrity is very important in our life. It also a good habit for us to cultivate and take as reminder to ourselves that we need to keep hold to our promises in all aspect of chores we are doing.

    https://bit.ly/31yh6MZ
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 01:21 PM
    Chatral Rinpoche was one of the greatest meditation masters and most compassionate bodhisattvas in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. Chatral Rinpoche explains the purpose and benefit of saving the lives of endangered animals, especially those due to be slaughtered. Great advice by Chatral Rinpoche to develop compassion for all sentient beings . Save animals, save nature, as animal life is precious too. He lived as a humble yogi without the distractions of fame and fortune. He practiced what he preaches without compromise and was beloved , respected by many of all faiths throughout the Himalayan region. He was well known for his compassion for animals through his compassionate action and profound wisdom. He had liberate millions of fish animals and had encourages his student not to eat meat and drank alcohol. It’s a right choice to be on vegetarian , as more animals will be save. It be healthier for us, better for environment and kinder to be a vegetarian.
    Powerful saying by Chatral Rinpoche ……Eating meat in one’s diet is much different than eating flesh to liberate a being through supernatural powers. I am just an ordinary practitioner. I would be committing sin and I would be getting negative karma.
    Thank You for this sharing Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/committing-sin.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 01:18 PM
    When i first read this article I did wonder too , how this ever happen. Somehow its real, a geological phenomenon where rocks move without human interference. Known as “sailing stones,” the rocks vary in size from a few ounces to hundreds of pounds. One of the world’s strangest phenomena is at Death Valley National Park in Inyo County, California, U.S. Till today, scientists could not have an answer to this strange phenomena where nobody have seen it moving at all.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/just-what-are-sailing-stones.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 01:17 PM
    Animal abuse frequently occurred in a number of area. Its heart breaking looking at the pictures of that extreme animal and neglect case of a dog in this article . The abused dog was packed in a plastic bag and thrown down a trash chute in the 22-story building. So inhuman for someone to do that . Not only that the dog was under un nourishment, thin, dehydrated and looks more than a skeleton. The condition was so bad that the dog needs a blood transfusion. Thanks to the maintenance workers who found Patrick in the neat of time. Looking at those pictures one will be definitely shocking to see his condition. Thankfully, that poor dog named Patrick is recovering well after been nursed by the hospital staffs. Its one of the worst cases of abuse they’ve seen. A dog is men best friends , shouldn’t be abuse or harm them. Give them love, care as if they are one of us.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/extreme-abuse-dog-found-in-trash.html
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 11:14 PM
    Thank you for your wonderful thoughts of sharing the most heartwarming moments of people around the world. Some of the photos were really touching. I believe there are plenty of kind -hearted people around us with faith in humanity.

    Life is all about second chances, always try to care about others because none of us know what tomorrow may speaks. It’s so much true to say photos will make your day much more better with thousand words and I too enjoyed all the stories.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 01:13 PM
    The famous saying “What goes around, comes around”, karma in short is action and every action is preceded by our thoughts. Hence what we think continuously about something will eventually lead to action and the result. Its our mind that is responsible for our karma. Reading this post it has helped me and many of us to understand that we create our own reality or karma. I have book marked these so as i can read it time from time to remind myself. still plenty to catch up.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/karma-and-the-law-of-attraction.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 01:11 PM
    Chatral Rinpoche was a Dzogchen master and a reclusive yogi known for his great realization and strict discipline. Beautiful and meaningful poems, all I can say the poem is full of wisdom. All animals deserves a life free from fear and pain. They do have hearts to feel the pain, eyes to see and families to care, just like one of us. Animal should be the right to be here, long before we arrive. If only we understand we care for them , we will help and save them or we can liberate them .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/by-chatral-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 01:10 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this short and powerful teachings . The Four Noble Truths are the most basic formulation of the Buddha’s teaching. They are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. It was these four principles that the Buddha came to understand during his meditation under the bodhi tree.
    To cease from evil, To do what is good. To cleanse one’s mind: This is the advice of all the Buddhas. Inspiring saying short yet powerful when we understand it . I will keep this in mind always.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/magic-4.html
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 12:07 PM
    Meat contains many substances, chemicals, which causes harm to us in the long term and red meat shorten human lives. Large consumption of meat especially processed meat are likely lead to cardiovascular diseases ,cancer and a lot more.

    It is really great to see news write up of factual info like this as evidence and proof that eating meat causes more harm than good. Thank you very much for sharing the informative article.


    https://bit.ly/2VvSb8H
  • S.Prathap
    Tuesday, Jun 30. 2020 04:28 PM
    These was one of the many miraculous cases of how Rinpoche has helped.As we learn and practice dharma sincerely, we may received the blessings from guru and to be protected from any harm.
    Through the blessings of Rinpoche, Marici was able to overcome her problem and get well again. Thank you very much for the sharing.


    https://bit.ly/3ipziOS
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jun 30. 2020 02:17 PM
    Equality before the law is the principle that each individual being must be treated equally by the law and that all are subject to the same laws of justice. Everyone will be given justice by treating them equally nor matter what race and religion or belief, you are. All are equal without any discrimination to equal protection of the law as well. After reading this article I do not agree with Paul Ryan what he commented on the conservative radio show ‘Morning In America’. Racism should not be brought up then, claimed that black men do not want to work and are satisfied with being poor. Remarks involving negative prejudices about people on the basis of race, would spark off misunderstanding and disharmony . It is extremely dangerous to label the rich or poor by skin colour or ethnicity.
    Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/do-you-agree-with-this.html

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
5 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
5 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
5 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
5 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
5 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
6 months ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
6 months ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
6 months ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
6 months ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
6 months ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
11 months ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
11 months ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
11 months ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
12 months ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
12 months ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
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At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
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See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
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Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
1 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
1 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
1 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
1 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
1 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
1 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
1 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
1 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
1 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
1 years ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
1 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
1 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
1 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
1 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
1 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
1 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
1 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
1 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
1 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
1 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
1 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
1 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
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    1 years ago
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

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CHAT PICTURES

So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 weeks ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
1 month ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
2 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
4 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
4 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
4 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
4 months ago
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
4 months ago
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
4 months ago
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
4 months ago
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
4 months ago
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....